Executive Team

The CIPD Executive Team is responsible for the strategic development and day-to-day operational management of the Institute.

Peter Cheese, Chartered FCIPD, Chief Executive

Peter Cheese

Peter is the chief executive of CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development. Prior to joining the CIPD in July 2012, he was Chairman of the Institute of Leadership and Management and a member of the Council of City & Guilds. Up until 2009 he had a long career at Accenture holding various leadership positions and culminating in a seven year spell as Global Managing Director leading the firm's human capital and organisation consulting practice. He writes and speaks widely on the development of HR, and the broader issues of leadership, culture, people and skills.

Peter is also a member of the Board of BPP University, and the Advisory Board for the Open University Business School. He holds an honorary doctorate from Kingston University, is a Fellow of the CIPD and a Fellow of AHRI, the Australian HR Institute, a Companion of the Institute of Leadership and Management, and a Companion of the Chartered Management Institute.

Laura Harrison - Director of People and Strategy

Laura Harrison

Looking to the future and identifying the insights that should shape the CIPD and the broader HR and L&D profession is the role of the People and Strategy Directorate. We define the CIPD’s long-term content and research strategy and develop our policy positions and overall organisational strategy. From this long-term planning, the People and Strategy Directorate also ensures the CIPD has the appropriate people and financial management in place to deliver on those plans.

Laura has particular interests in the future of work and HR, organisation development and change. She holds a first degree in chemistry and postgraduate qualifications in law and tax and has worked at the CIPD since February 2011. Her earlier career was spent at Aviva and in various consulting roles with Ernst & Young and PwC.

Alan Ovens - Director of CIPD International

Alan Ovens

We work to develop the CIPD’s international strategy by understanding the international context for the profession and identifying our role within it. In conjunction with the CIPD’s other Directorates the CIPD International Directorate co-develops, delivers and services compelling CIPD propositions outside the UK. We focus on building strong international relationships that extend the CIPD’s reach and influence.

Alan joined the CIPD in January 2014 as New Markets Director and became Director of CIPD International in September 2014. Alan brings significant experience to us, much of which was in an international arena in HR, OD, Consulting and Business Development, gained at Bupa, KPMG and Thomas Cook and as an external consultant to a number of prestigious blue chip organisations. He has an international MBA from ENPC Paris.

Vanessa Robinson - Finance, Planning and Performance Director

Vanessa Robinson

The Finance, Planning and Performance Directorate was formed in 2016, by bringing the finance function directly together with the business planning and performance development functions. This will enable us to strengthen and further drive our performance, implement and embed our new balanced scorecard across the business and further integrate our short and strategic business planning activities.

Vanessa joined the CIPD in 2004, in the research team, which she led for a number of years, and was appointed to lead the Finance, Planning and Performance Directorate on its creation. Vanessa’s earlier career was in variety of consultancy and finance roles, including PwC, Cap Gemini and WPP. She is a Chartered Accountant, holds a first degree in Psychology and a Masters in Organisational Behaviour.

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Sue Upton - Director of Members and Markets

Sue Upton

The Members and Markets Directorate acts as the primary point of contact and service delivery for all the CIPD’s customers including our members. This includes ensuring that the CIPD’s membership proposition meets the needs of its 140,000 plus members.

Sue joined the CIPD in February 2000 and has held a variety of executive roles in Marketing, Communications, Membership and Professional Development, as well as a brief period as Interim MD.

Sue is a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and is a Chartered Marketer.

Gill White - Director of Knowledge and Capability

Gill White

The Knowledge and Capability Directorate translates the strategy, research, thought-leadership and customer proposition work into world-class solutions for our members and the CIPD’s broader customer-base. We ensure they have the content and tools they want, in the right format, whenever they need it. Beyond that we also drive thinking through the curation and dissemination of relevant content that helps our customers be better practitioners in support of their organisations.

Gill joined CIPD in July 2012 as Head of CIPD Training and was appointed in September 2014 to head up the newly formed Directorate of Knowledge and Capability. Prior to working for the CIPD, Gill has held a variety of Head of L&D roles at Vodafone, Xchanging and SSP and Operational roles; such as MD of the consultancy IDology; Op’s manager for Whitbread, Greenalls and Vodafone.

Gill holds the prestigious Chartered Director status, one of only 1,000 in the UK; Awarded by the Institute of Directors.