CIPFA board

Current CIPFA board member biographies

The council has delegated to CIPFA board oversight of operational matters. The board guides and challenges development and operations in line with the strategy, monitors and reviews strategy and performance, oversees risk management and is authorised to delegate responsibilities as necessary.

The board is chaired by Joe Sealy and its membership consists of:

  • Six CIPFA Council members (four honorary officers and two additional council members)
  • Two non-executive directors (senior and one other)
  • CIPFA's Chief Executive
  • CIPFA's Director of Finance

Joe Sealy, CIPFA Board Chair

Joe Sealy

Joe Sealy is CIPFA’s first Independent Non-Executive Chair, prior to this role he was a Senior Non-Executive Director and chair the Commercial Board. Joe is also a trustee of a major UK charity.

Joe’s career has spanned the public and private sector. He is the Co-Founding Partner and COO of Greater Pacific Capital (GPC), an investment firm for major pension funds and institutional investors investing in Asia, and specifically India. Joe serves on the Investment Committee and major firm committees and sits on the board of many investee portfolio companies. 

Joe was previously a Managing Director in the Investment Banking Division at Goldman Sachs with corporate clients covering multiple industry sectors, financial investors, and government, and played a leadership role in promoting diversity at Goldman Sachs.  Formerly, was a partner at KPMG, in roles covering both private and public sector clients, including numerous local authorities and central government departments.  Joe began his public service career within the local authority sector at Cheshire County Council and Merton LBC.

Joe is a BSc graduate in Economics, MBA from Henley Management College, and qualified CIPFA accountant.

Caroline Rassell, President

Caroline RassellCaroline is the CEO for Parkinson's UK, a national charity focused on finding a cure and improving life for everyone affected by Parkinson's. Caroline is a trustee of her local hospice and gained operational experience of the third sector at Versus Arthritis as the Director of Planning and Operations. Before moving to the third sector, Caroline was the Accountable Officer of NHS Mid Essex CCG and the Joint STP lead for Mid and South Essex. She has been CIPFA qualified since 1990 and has held board level roles in both local and national organisations for 20 years. These have spanned a variety of roles from Director of Finance, Commissioning and Procurement to Deputy CEO and CEO.

Caroline spent the first 15 years of her career in local government starting at the Corporation of London and then working at London Borough, district council and county council level. Moving to health at the turn of the century offered new and exciting opportunities for Caroline including working at health authority level and national level in two private companies owned by the Department of Health – Community Health Partnership (CHP) and NHS Property Services. She has been on the CIPFA Council now for five years, is a member of the Health and Social Care Board and is the current Chair of the Student and Members Board. Caroline has a passion for ensuring that the population understand the benefit of health and wellbeing. Supporting this, she is a non-executive board member and the Chair of the Audit Committee of Active Essex.

Carol Culley OBE, Vice President

Carol CulleyCarol is the Deputy Chief Executive and City Treasurer at Manchester City Council . As well as being the S151 officer, she has responsibility for the Corporate Core and for driving a number of priorities such as the leading on the Council's Zero Carbon Action Plan and as SRO for The Factory and Town Hall projects. Her previous experience in Manchester has included her role as Deputy City Treasurer responsible for Finance and Performance and ICT as well as being a member of the Health and Social Care Devolution Team, as Assistant Chief Executive overseeing Finance and Performance and as the Assistant Director of Finance and Commissioning for Social Services.

She is CIPFA qualified and has a diploma in management and is a member of the CIPFA Council and recently appointed as chair of the Public Financial Management Board. Carol has a wealth of experience in financial management, governance and assurance and fulfilling trustee roles. She is currently a trustee for a number of joint ventures such as Northern Gateway and Manchester Central and for the Greater Manchester Learning Trust.


Sir Mark Lowcock, Council member

Sir Mark Lowcock, CIPFA council memberMark is a Distinguished Non-resident Fellow at the Centre for Global Development. Between 2017 and 2021 Sir Mark was UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator where he chaired the Inter-Agency Standing Committee. From 2011-17 he was the Permanent Secretary at DFID where he supervised a 40% growth in Britain’s aid budget.

Prior to that Sir Mark served in three Director General posts in DFID, covering Corporate Performance and Knowledge Management from 2003 to 2006, Policy and International from 2006 to 2008 and Country Programmes from 2008 to 2011. He is now an adviser to WHO and IMF and chairs a large Multi Academy Trust in the UK.

Jayne Owen, Past President 

Jayne OwenJayne is Finance and Resources Director of North Wales Housing Association, a successful social enterprise providing homes and delivering services across North Wales. She is a qualified accountant (CIPFA) with 30 years public sector experience, including five years as Treasurer/Director of Finance. Prior to taking up this role, Jayne undertook the role of Director of Finance (Police and Crime) for the Greater Manchester Combined Authority. This and previous roles involved significant complexity, with accountability for multi-million pound budgets and advising on the deployment of these resources. 

Her areas of expertise include treasury management, financial planning, audit, procurement, commissioning, value for money, organisational transformation and effective governance. Dating back 17 years, Jayne has been a long serving volunteer and advocate for CIPFA with student, regional and national roles. Her career has been rooted in the public sector, caring deeply for the role of the public, voluntary, social enterprise sectors in society. 

Mark McBride, Council member

Mark McBride

Mark is Chair and a Trustee of the AAT Retirement Benefits Scheme. He was previously an Independent Member of the Northern Ireland Local Government Superannuation Committee (NILGOSC) and Head of Finance and Performance at Belfast City Council where he worked for 23 years and prior to that he was a Financial Accountant with the Northern Ireland Housing Executive where he qualified as a CIPFA accountant in 1993.

Mark has been an active member of the CIPFA Northern Ireland Committee for over 20 years and served as Chair of the NI Branch from 2006 to 2008. He was also a CIPFA-nominated member on the AAT Council for ten years, where he was Chair of the Resources, Nominations and Remuneration Committees. He served as President of AAT in 2016/17.


Mohammed Sajid, Council Member 

Mohammed has over 25 years of experience in local government. He is the Head of Financial Strategy at Birmingham City Council, helping move it from 1* to 3* Financial Management and winning the PF Awards Finance Team of the Year 2022; before this, he was the Chief Accountant at the London Borough of Islington. 

Mohammed is passionate about promoting and growing CIPFA and was part of the CIPFA Global Taskforce that devised the 10-year international strategy. Mohammed is a current Council Member and previously served on Council from 2015-21; he was a member of CIPFA Board 2018-21, chaired the Public Finance Management Board 2019-21 and, recently, the Financial Reporting Forum. 

Harry Gaskell, Senior NED

Photo of Harry Gaskell

Harry Gaskell is Chair of the Which? Limited Board. Harry is a Senior Advisor within the Sustainability team for EY UK and Chairs their External Advisory Board on Sustainability. Harry previously headed the UK&I EY Earth team and before that the UK Innovation team. Prior to that, he was the Managing Partner of the 1,700-strong UK&I Consulting business which Harry helped grow from scratch.

Harry is a member of the Court of Governors of the University of the Arts, London and Chair of the Finance Committee. From 2011-2020 Harry was Chair and Trustee of the Employers Network for Equality and Inclusion (ENEI) and established ENEI as the UK’s leading workplace inclusion organisation growing its membership from 100 to 350+ employers in the UK.

Frances Done, NED

Frances Done has extensive Board level experience and is currently Independent Lay Member of the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee of the House of Commons and has served as the Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee, Professional Standards Authority since 2017. Her previous roles include Chief Executive of Manchester 2002 Ltd, the Organising Committee of the successful XVII Commonwealth Games, Managing Director for Local Government, Housing and Criminal Justice at the Audit Commission, and Chair of the Youth Justice Board for England and Wales

Rob Whiteman CBE, Chief Executive

Rob WhitemanRob was appointed as the Chief Executive of CIPFA in September 2013. Before joining the institute, he was a senior civil servant who worked as the Chief Executive of the UK Border Agency and had previously led the Improvement and Development Agency. Between 2005 and 2010 Whiteman was CEO of the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham. Prior to this role, he was Director of Resources at the London Borough of Lewisham.

He is a well-known commentator and writer on public service reform and modernisation, on a wide range of areas such as leadership, partnership working across local and central government, and building community cohesion. In 2008 he was named one of the ten most influential people in local government by the Local Government Chronicle. In 2007 and 2009 he carried out the capability reviews of the Department of Health for the Cabinet Office.

Graduating with a BA (Hons) in Economics and Government from the University of Essex, Whiteman started his management career at WH Smith, before moving into the public sector. An accountant by profession, Rob qualified with CIPFA early in his career while working at the London Borough of Camden. He has since held several local government finance advisory roles for the Local Government Association and CIPFA, and for many years served as Secretary to the Society of London Treasurers.

Anna Blackman, Interim Finance Director

Photo of Anna BlackmanAnna comes to CIPFA with a wealth of public sector experience, having been in both external and internal auditor roles as a partner in PwC and serving as Chief Operating Officer for PwC's Government business. Anna trained with CIPFA and spent the majority of her career at PwC working across healthcare, local government and the not-for-profit sectors.

Following a successful career as a Partner at PwC, Anna's portfolio of work is now focused on impact-driven organisations. Anna's work has included being the Chief Operating Officer of FormScore, a mental health and wellbeing tech business and supporting Naked Sprout, a company which produces the UK's most sustainable toilet roll. Anna is a Trustee of the InsideOut Leaderboard Charity and Chair of the Audit & Risk Committee at UK Athletics.