About our council officers

Biographies for the honorary officers on the CIPFA Institute Council

Caroline Rassell, President

Photo of Caroline Rassell

Caroline 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

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Carol 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, Junior Vice President

Sir Mark Lowcock, CIPFA council member

Mark 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

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Jayne 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.