David is a main board director of Gifford Consultants with responsibility for the Civil Engineering business.
Formerly the deputy county surveyor and deputy director of environment at Hampshire County Council, Tarrant joined Gifford in February 2004 as director responsible for the transportation business.
Tarrant's theme for the year is "Hindsight – a new look at transport" – which aims to learn from the experiences of the last 50 years to confront the key issues facing highways in the future.
This theme will be supported by new academic research as well as the backing of major public and private sector organisations and will be launched at his Presidential Conference on 12 September.
At his inaugural meeting Tarrant set out his aims for IHT in its 78th year.
He said: "I will be focusing on three main areas – seeking to increase the profile of the Institution as the centre of excellence on all highways and transportation matters, improving our links with central and devolved governments and continuing to attract high calibre members to the Institution."