Rob Whiteman CBE, Chief Executive, CIPFA

Rob Whiteman has been CIPFA CEO since 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. Prior to this he was CEO of the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham and Director of Resources at the London Borough of Lewisham.

Michael Izza, Chief Executive, ICAEW

Appointed Chief Executive in 2006, Michael’s leadership has seen ICAEW embrace a vision of building a world of strong and sustainable economies, transforming itself into a professional accountancy body with a truly global identity and reach. Michael qualified as an ICAEW Chartered Accountant in 1986 with Coopers & Lybrand after graduating in law from Durham University.

Cecilie Booth, Executive Director of Corporate Services and S151 Officer, Peterborough City Council

Cecilie has worked at a senior level in the public and private section for over 20 years, and has developed a range of innovative housing solutions in partnership with local authorities, private sector organisations and financial institutions. Cecilie is a qualified CIPFA accountant and has a wealth of experience in both finance and housing. She is currently working as Executive Director of Corporate Services and Section 151 Officer at Peterborough City Council.

Justin Galliford, Chief Executive, Norse Group

Justin joined Norse Group in 2006 after completing an MBA in Business Administration and Management. He also holds an MSc in Environmental Impact Assessment and a BSc in Environmental Sciences. As Operations Director in a wide range of Norse divisions he helped develop the company’s pioneering local authority partnership model. In 2020 Justin was appointed Chief Operating Officer, and in January 2022 became Chief Executive Officer. In this role he has embraced the ESG agenda, introducing the mantra of “Improving People’s Lives”.

Mohamed Hans, Principal Procurement Advisor, CIPFA

Mohamed joined CIPFA in 2004, after working as a senior commercial solicitor for a number of West Yorkshire local authorities. He is an expert on the interpretation of public procurement rules and has written extensively on this topic over many years. He has also developed widely used practitioner toolkits, is invited to speak at conferences in the UK and abroad, and is the first point of contact for practitioners need to understand complex procurement issues. He manages the Procurement and Commissioning Network, which has over 130 member authorities. He sits on a number of advisory boards, including the National Audit Office, Home Office and the CIPFA Procurement and Anti-Corruption Advisory Forum.

Laura Hough, Director of Trust and Ethics, ICAEW

Laura Hough recently joined the ICAEW as the Director of Trust and Ethics. Prior to joining she was an Associate Director within BDO’s International Institutions and Donor Assurance Group (IIDA) leading their work around Anti-Corruption and Fraud prevention. She is a Chartered Accountant (FCA) and a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE). Laura has worked in the arena of counter fraud and financial crime since 2007, and has experience spanning private practice, the Financial Conduct Authority, international not-for-profits and the public sector. She has held senior Counter Fraud roles in several international NGOs. Between 2018 and 2020, Laura led a review into fraud and corruption risks in local government procurement as committed to in the UK Government’s Anti-Corruption Strategy. The outcome of this review was published in June 2020.

Mark Leaver, Strategic Lead Commissioning, Manchester City Council

Mark is the Strategic Lead for Commissioning in Manchester City Council, working across the council and with partners to secure better outcomes from commissioning, including further social value for the city and supporting the city's net-zero ambition. An economist by background, Mark has 10 years' experience in local government commissioning and service reform; prior to local government, Mark worked in consultancy and was a Senior Policy Adviser at HM Treasury.

Mark Leigh, Deputy Director, Head of Employment Services Category

Mark joined the Government Commercial Organisation in May 2017, taking up a role as delivering a wide range of transformational activity – market stewardship, category redesign and self-service provision. During the Pandemic, he and his team delivered the commercial elements of the Plan for Jobs and took decisive action to protect the employability market. Previously he worked at Rolls-Royce for 18 years in a range of roles from Programme Management, Category Management and Business Development, latterly as Head of Commercial and Sourcing for the Installations Supply Chain Division, where his teams managed 70% of the Aerospace Divisions’ suppliers, 80% of the part numbers and 40% of the spend.

John O'Halloran, Director Business Advisory and Consultancy, CIPFA

John is a highly experienced business manager and management consultant with over 30 years experience in both the private and public sectors, now leading CIPFA’s advisory practice. Recently John has helped shape and drive a major cost reduction UK wide programme for police sector, Achieving Finance Excellence in Policing. He has acted as the commercial adviser to numerous forces including the Met Police on their successful outsourcing of their back office functions and also was a key part of the team responsible for the development of their commercial strategy to 2020. John has also worked for large civil service departments and every type of local authority in the UK.

Sophie Parkhouse, Technical and Training Partner, Albert Goodman

Sophie Parkhouse is Technical and Training Partner at Albert Goodman and is the firm’s first non-portfolio partner, as well as being a member of the firm’s management board. Sophie sits on the central ICAEW Practice Committee and Financial Reporting Board as well as being Chair of the ICAEW South West Technical Advisory Committee. Sophie is the main point of contact for all financial reporting technical queries at Albert Goodman as well as holding a number of regulatory positions and being responsible for the ongoing development of all of the firm’s people. More recently Sophie has also taken on the lead on Albert Goodman’ ESG service line supporting businesses to develop their sustainability strategy to include net zero plans and regulatory reporting.

Katie Randall, Associate Director, City Economics & Planning and Urban Strategy, Arup

Katie is an Associate Director for Urban Strategy and City Economics, leading teams to develop and deliver major growth programmes across the UK. Her approach is based in ensuring that strategies are deliverable and investable and create catalytic opportunities for the local area, and in leveraging procurement to secure better outcomes on these projects. Katie makes better places, without leaving people behind. Her passion for progress and bringing people along enables her to help clients understand the economic purpose of place.

Neil Rutledge, Director, Amberside Advisors

For the last 25 years, Neil has specialised in advising on using public private partnerships to deliver new low carbon, social and economic infrastructure. Trained as a chartered accountant with KPMG, he spent a number of years delivering regeneration projects using land, riparian and community infrastructure in Central Manchester. Neil is highly experienced in procurements, advising both bidders and local authorities on PFI/PPP projects and Joint Ventures; he is currently advising North London Waste Authority on its £1.2bn procurement of modern waste processing facilities.

Professor Richard Simmons, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Stirling

Richard has a long-established record of high-quality research in the field of public policy and public services. He recently led an ESRC-funded research project looking at optimising outcomes for local communities through procurement and partnering. As the world moves through a series of crises from Covid-19, war in Europe and the cost of living, Richard is keen to consider the role and potential of procurement and partnering through a series of new lenses, as a lever for improving community outcomes.

Lucy Sydney, Head of Strategic Relationships, Procurement Reform, Cabinet Office

Lucy Sydney is Head of Strategic Relationships for the Transforming Public Procurement team in the Cabinet Office. She joined the team in February 2021, initially to lead work on the L&D programme being put in place to support implementation of the forthcoming procurement regime, and her current focus is stakeholder engagement and communications. From 2017 to 2021 she was Director of Strategic Relationships for Vocational and Technical Qualifications at Ofqual. Earlier roles include rolling out the Commissioning Academy (a cross-public sector development programme), sponsorship of the Big Lottery Fund, driving carbon reduction from the government estate and providing Cabinet committee secretariat.

Mark Williams CPFA FCA, Senior Consultant/Advisor, CIPFA

Mark joined CIPFA as an advisor/trainer in January 2022. The three parts to his role are: to deliver CIPFA advisory engagements including in relation to financial management, commercial skills and property/infrastructure for our clients; to support CIPFA’s policy and technical team in developing insights including on commercial and financing models, net zero and levelling up; and to deliver training including HMT’s better business case (decision-making) course.

Mark’s background is as a public services auditor, advisor and consultant. He set up and led the Government finance and accounting team for one of the Big4, and in parallel was the sponsoring partner for their public services learning programme. Then led on property/infrastructure for a consultancy. Mark is an accountant, but over the years has developed commercial, projects and property/infrastructure experience.

Mark has been involved in many energy efficiency / micro generation programmes and projects, for example he was the funding and finance advisor on the Mayor of London Retrofit Accelerator (formerly RE: FIT) programmes for almost a decade. As part of this work he has reviewed net zero strategies and property decarbonization / retrofit strategies for a number of authorities. Mark leads CIPFA regular Green Finance training events.

Richard Wood, Head of Sales, Zurich Municipal

Richard has nearly 40 years industry experience from Insurance Broking to bank distribution through personal lines and commercial insurance products. Beginning his career with Zurich in 2003 as Regional Development Manager, Richard has had several notable appointments within the group. After winning ‘Region of the Year’ for two consecutive years, Richard was promoted to Head of Financial Services Partnerships in 2005 where he became responsible for Zurich’s key Bank Distribution Partnerships. After five years in this role, Richard embraced a move to Johannesburg, South Africa to lead the set up of a Bank Distribution Partnership with Standard Bank. When Richard returned to the UK in 2011, he returned to a new role with Zurich Municipal as Head of Housing and Health. Richard’s current role is Head of Sales for Zurich Municipal which includes responsibilities as part of the Zurich Municipal Leadership team.