About our Council officers

Biographies for the honorary officers on the CIPFA Institute Council

President – Brian Roberts

Brian is the director of corporate resources and deputy chief executive at Leicestershire County Council. Previously he worked at Staffordshire County Council, Hampshire County Council, London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, Hart District Council and Merseyside County Council.

Brian qualified as an accountant in 1980.  He was a member and past president of the Society of County Treasurers and he has also been an LGA core finance advisor and past president of the Association of Local Government Treasurers. Brian is currently a national council member and a trustee of the Centre for Public Scrutiny.

Vice President - Andrew Burns

Andrew Burns is the director of finance and resources for Staffordshire County Council with strategic responsibility for finance, HR, ICT, digital, property, commercial and customer services and is Treasurer of the Staffordshire Pension Fund.

Andrew led the financial transformation programme that delivered £150m savings, significant service improvement and enabled Staffordshire County Council to set the lowest council tax for any county council in 2014.

He was elected to CIPFA Council in 2010 and has chaired the Group Board, Policy and Standards Board and CIPFA’s Aligning Public Services Working Group. He is also immediate past-president of the Society of County Treasurers.

Junior Vice President – Sarah Howard

Sarah is a partner and head of public sector at Grant Thornton.  Sarah’s passion for the sector and strong support for CIPFA has seen Grant Thornton become the largest UK recruiter of CIPFA students and the first firm to launch the CIPFA Apprenticeship Scheme and adopt the new Integrated Qualification. 

Sarah spends much of her time between the north of England and London, leading the firm’s public sector assurance and advisory practice. Sarah has been lucky to work with a variety of clients over the last 25 years, seeing most recently the devolution changes across Greater Manchester first hand. Previously, Sarah was a partner at RSM Robson Rhodes, and before that was with the Audit Commission in Bristol and Yorkshire.

Sarah has been an active volunteer for CIPFA over much of her career, as an examiner, regional executive member and as an elected council member. Sarah’s volunteering efforts have been recognised by the Institute through both the Dr Hedley Marshall Award for outstanding contribution to regional activities and the Tom Sowerby Award for outstanding services to CIPFA students.

Past President - John Matheson

After graduating from Heriot Watt University John joined NHS Scotland as a national finance trainee in 1976. He qualified with CIPFA and then joined NHS Lothian, undertaking various roles before becoming director of finance in one of the Trusts in 1981, progressing through various finance director roles and obtained a MBA from Edinburgh University, before becoming director of finance for NHS Lothian in 2001. He moved to Scottish Government in 2008 as director of finance for NHS Scotland where his responsibilities also include eHealth and pharmacy.

He has a strong commitment to CIPFA in both a voluntary capacity and as a Council member over a number of years. John was chair of the Scottish Branch in 1999 and has been a Council member for the past six years and chaired the International Strategy Board from 2011-2014.

He has undertaken non-executive roles across both Public and Private Sectors and has presented at a number of international conferences on a range of current issues.