Gifford director and former Hampshire deputy county surveyor David Tarrant has been approached but declined the offer.
And Institution of Highways & Transportation chief executive Mary Lewis is also strongly rumoured to have been on the wish list.
Recent top appointments at the Agency have gone to water sector appointees. Major projects director Nirmal Kotecha and his predecessor Gerry England worked for Anglian and Thames Water respectively. Departing Agency boss Archie Robertson came from the Environment Agency.
"The industry would like someone who has highways experience in their background and understands highways' issues, regulations and its unique wrinkles," said one supplier boss.
"We are fed up with people coming in to shake us up. I'm all for learning from other industries but it would be nice to have someone who knows what they are talking about from the off," said another.
But who would you choose? NCE has picked out 10 outstanding candidates. Read why here and vote on your favourite, and help the Agency in making its tough choice.
Robertson leaves his post at the end of May.