Providing expert commentary on the labour market, employment, HR and the world of work
Here you will find details of CIPD media spokespeople. We are experts on the world of work, and our advisers can speak on a range of issues from the labour market, gender equality, immigration, the gig economy, skills, pay, pensions, employment law, corporate governance, leadership and much more.
Our research brings together academics and practitioners to support the profession with credible and relevant evidence on people management and development and push the boundaries of knowledge on people, work and change.
To request a photograph or interview with any of our spokespeople, contact the press office on 020 8612 6400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. When contacting us please provide details of the publication and audience you are writing for, the angle of your article/research and any deadlines you are working towards. This information will help us to match you with the most relevant spokesperson.
Peter Cheese: Chief Executive
Peter is the CEO of the CIPD, the professional body for HR and People Development. Since January 2019, he has been co-chair of The Flexible Working Task Force, a partnership across government departments, business groups, trade unions and charities, to increase the uptake of flexible working. He is also Chair of Engage for Success and the What Works Centre for Wellbeing.
Peter writes and speaks widely on the development of HR, the future of work, and the key issues of leadership, culture and organisation, people and skills. In 2021, his book ‘The New World of Work’ was published, exploring the many factors shaping work, workplaces, workforces and our working lives, and the principles around which we can build a future that is good for people, for business and for societies.
Prior to joining the CIPD in 2012 Peter was Chair of the Institute of Leadership and Management, an Executive Fellow at London Business School, and held a number of Board level roles. He had a long career in consulting at Accenture working with organisations around the world, and in his last seven years there was Global Managing Director for the firm’s human capital and organisation consulting practice.
He is a Fellow of the CIPD, a Fellow of AHRI (the Australian HR Institute), the Royal Society of Arts, and the Academy of Social Sciences. He’s also a Companion of the Institute of Leadership and Management, the Chartered Management Institute, and the British Academy of Management. He holds honorary doctorates from Bath University, Kingston University and Birmingham City University.
David D'Souza: Director of Membership
David is the Director of Membership. He is responsible for the growing our membership and ensuring we connect effectively with the profession to understand how to continually improve our support to our members. Prior to joining the CIPD in 2014, David worked as an independent consultant, having held previous roles across a range of financial services and retail organisations.
Described as “one of the UK’s most influential HR and workplace commentators”, David is a respected and in demand speaker and writer on progressive HR and business practice. David has expertise in a wide range of areas, including organisational development and culture, learning and development, corporate ethics, employee engagement and the future of work.
Nations and Regions
Mary Connaughton, Chartered FCIPD, Director CIPD Ireland
Mary Connaughton is passionate about developing people and workplaces to be at their best.
Mary leads the growth, development and contribution of the people profession in Ireland. She pushes forward the CIPD agenda of people-centric decisions,, wellbeing, inclusion and flexible working through research, policy and member engagement. With 6,500 members in Ireland, CIPD is working on the future of the profession in a complex changing world.
Mary has a wealth of HR experience, supporting individuals and companies on the strategic people agenda, HR practice and organisation development. Previously she headed up HR Development at employers’ group Ibec, consulted widely across the public and private sector and held organisation development roles in the financial and consulting sectors.
Mary is on the Boards of the Public Appointments Service and the Retirement Planning Council and represents the people profession in Ireland at the European Association of People Management.
Lesley Richards, Head of CIPD Wales
Lesley Richards is Head of CIPD Wales, responsible for representing the organisation and its 6000 members across the nation. Her role encompasses three main drivers - influencing policy, building partnerships, delivering for members - all aligned to the overall objective of representing the voice of CIPD in Wales and for Wales.
Lesley’s involvement with the CIPD spans over 30 years, having joined the South East Wales branch as a student member, holding a number of branch roles before chairing the branch for three years, and progressing discussions which ultimately led to the creation of CIPD Wales.
Prior to joining the CIPD Lesley spent 25 years working in HR. The first decade of her career was spent in professional services working in-house for several well-known accountancy and legal practices before she set up her own consultancy business. She then returned “in house” and spent eight years as Group Executive HR Director for one of Wales’ leading marketing and communication consultancies advising on all aspects of HR and people management as the company made a series of mergers and acquisitions and floated on AIM.
Lesley also continues to run her own HR consultancy with a client base which has spanned the private, public and not for profit sectors including local government, manufacturing, hospitality, higher education, scientific consultancy, professional services, transport & logistics, telecoms, retail, charity and childcare.
Ben Willmott: Head of Public Policy
Ben leads the CIPD’s Public Policy team, which works to inform and shape debate, government policy and legislation in order to enable higher performance at work and better pathways into work for those seeking employment. His particular research and policy areas of interest include employment relations, employee engagement and well-being, absence and stress management, and leadership and management capability.
Ben joined the CIPD in 2003. He started his career in regional journalism and prior to joining the CIPD was news editor and employment law editor at Personnel Today magazine. He has an LLM in Employment law from Kingston University.
Lutfur Ali, Public Policy Advisor, Inclusion and Diversity
Lutfur joined the CIPD in October 2021. Lutfur is also Non-Executive Director for the Business Continuity Institute (BCI) the professional body for business continuity and resilience experts. With a career spanning over three decades in the public, private and third sector, Lutfur has championed the delivery of social justice, equality, diversity, inclusion (EDI) and sustainability throughout his life. He has seen how effective EDI leadership in organisations can drive lasting improvement and change – making organisations healthier, inclusive, greener and resilient in becoming employers of first choice and best in class.
Prior to joining the CIPD Lutfur led a boutique consultancy practice and worked in a range of high-profile roles in the public, private and not for profit sector including: Director of EDI for the Tribal Group PLC (FTSE500), Head of EDI for the Department of Health, Head of EDI for the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, Advisor to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Advisor to the National College of School Leadership and Associate to the National College of Policing. Lutfur was also Assistant Chief Executive for Tower Hamlets Council where he led the overall transformation programme in reshaping the organisations workforce, securing vital partnerships, generating income, and improving service delivery, in the context of achieving over 30% efficiency savings and protecting front line services. Lutfur has also held several Judicial Inquiry and advisory roles including for the Zahid Mubarak Inquiry, the Prime Ministers Prevent Task Force and the International Ministerial Working Group on Illegal Working.
Jon Boys: Labour Market Economist
Jon joined the CIPD in January 2019 as an Economist. He is an experienced labour market analyst with expertise in pay and conditions, education and skills, and productivity.
Jon primarily uses quantitative techniques to uncover insights in labour market data, both publicly available and generated through in house surveying. Jon regularly contributes commentary and analysis of economic issues on the world of work to online, print and TV media. Recent work includes the creation of an international ranking of work quality, analysis of firm level gender pay gap reporting data, and an ongoing programme of work looking at the changing age profile of the UK workforce.
Prior to this he worked for Be the Business – a government backed start up aimed at increasing firm level productivity in the UK, the Careers & Enterprise Company – another government backed start up aimed at transforming careers provision in school. He has also held prominent research roles at an Employers Association and Trade Union researching pay, conditions, and workforce composition.
Charles Cotton: Senior Performance and Reward Adviser
Charles directs the CIPD's performance and reward research agenda. He has recently led research into: how employers can help improve their employees’ understanding of their personal finances; how front line managers make and communicate reward decisions to their employees; how employers manage the risks around reward; how private sector employers can build the business case for workplace pensions; how employees form their attitudes to pay; and how the annual pay review process can become more strategic.
He is also responsible for the CIPD’s public policy reward work and has given evidence to select committees on banking pay, redundancy awards as well as responding to various consultations, such as on pensions, retirement and MPs’ expenses.
Lizzie Crowley: Senior Policy Adviser, Skills
Lizzie is CIPD’s employment and skills policy and research professional. She is experienced in developing high-quality research to inform organisational practice, policy and shape the public debate.
Before joining the CIPD in 2016, she led youth labour market research and policy development for The Work Foundation and developed research for public and private sectors. She has published a number of influential reports on skill policy and youth unemployment and appears regularly on national and regional TV and radio.
Lizzie is a Sociology graduate with a master's degree in Social Science Research Methods, both from the University of Glasgow.
Andy Lancaster: Head of Learning and Development
Andy has more than 25 years’ experience in learning and organisational development in commercial, technological and not-for-profit organisations and has also worked in a consultancy role.
As Head of Learning and Development Content at the CIPD Andy is responsible for professional development and learning products, digital content and qualifications for L&D, coaching and mentoring, management and leadership and business psychology.
Andy also plays a key role in leading the direction and delivery of the CIPD's wider new vision for L&D. He was part of the team that developed the CIPD's new L&D qualifications, oversees the Leaders in Learning Network and is helping pioneer online digital learning at the Institute.
Andy has a Master’s Degree in Instructional Design and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (FCIPD), the Chartered Management Institute (FCMI) and the Learning and Performance Institute (FLPI). He regularly speaks at conferences, write articles on behalf of CIPD and is the co-author of the "Webinars Pocketbook".
Claire McCartney: Senior Policy Adviser, Resourcing and Inclusion
Claire is the Resourcing and Inclusion Policy Adviser at the CIPD. For the last two years she has been running her own research and consultancy organisation.
Claire specialises in the areas of diversity & inclusion, flexible working, resourcing and talent management. She has also conducted research into meaning and trust at work, age diversity, workplace carers and enterprise and has worked on a number of international projects. She is the author of several reports and articles and regularly presents at seminars and conferences.
Prior to her roles at the CIPD, Claire was Principal Researcher at Roffey Park where she conducted research projects into a variety of topics including Roffey Park’s annual Management Agenda survey, work-life balance, flexible working, employee volunteering, talent management, and diversity. Claire has also worked with a range of clients on tailored research needs.
Dr Jill Miller: Senior Diversity and Inclusion Adviser
Jill is Senior Policy Adviser for Inclusion and Diversity at the CIPD. Her work focuses on the areas of gender, age and neurodiversity and she has recently led work on race inclusion, managing drug and alcohol misuse at work, and supporting employees through fertility treatment, pregnancy loss and still birth. Earlier in her career, Jill specialised in small business growth through good people management and employee wellbeing.
Jill’s role is a combination of rigorous research and active engagement with policy makers, academics and HR professionals to inform projects and shape thinking on key inclusion and diversity issues. She frequently presents on people management issues, leads discussions and workshops and is invited to write for trade press as well as offer comment to national journalists.
Jill joined the CIPD in 2008. She started her career working in an entrepreneurial small business before lecturing at Reading University on HR topics. She has a BSc in Psychology, MSc in International Business and obtained her PhD in Management, examining the effect of the informal organisation on performance, at Reading University.
Rachel Suff: Senior Employee Relations Adviser
Marek Zemanik: Senior Public Policy Adviser, Scotland
Marek joined the CIPD in October 2019. He leads the CIPD’s public policy work in Scotland and Northern Ireland, focusing primarily on fair work, skills and productivity. Prior to joining the CIPD, Marek spent nearly a decade working at the Scottish Parliament as a political adviser responsible for policy-making across devolved areas of public policy.
Wilson Wong: Head of Insight & Futures; Interim Head of Research
Wilson is Head of Insight and Futures and Interim Head of Research. His career has spanned academia, corporate finance and national ICT policy. His PhD in Economic Psychology/ Behavioural Economics was on opportunity recognition. Research interests include futures research focusing on the Future of Work and methodology e.g. Scenario Planning/ Delphi Technique (see The Future of Talent in Malaysia 2035); the psychological contract; the evolving employment relationship (e.g. models of fairness); management standards and standardisation; the nature and future of voice, and human capital measurement (e.g. the unstable nature of ‘talent’).
He represents the UK on human capital metrics at ISO/TC260 (HRM Standards) and is independent Chair of the Human Capital Standards Committee at the BSI. He co-edited Human Capital Management Standards: A Complete Guide. He’s on the Editorial Board of HRDQ, Board on the International Journal of HRD Practice, Policy & Research, Advisory Board at the Work and Equalities Institute, Manchester University, Recipient of the British Academy of Management President’s Medal 2020 for his contribution to Management Practice, and Visiting Professor at Nottingham Business School. A member of the International Association of Applied Psychology and an Academic Fellow of the CIPD, he was called to the English Bar in 1990.
Heather Bond: Standards Adviser
Heather has had a varied career spanning employment, people management and development, educational quality assurance and regulatory compliance. She is a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD, and holder of a judicial appointment as an Employment Tribunal Member.
As Standards Adviser Heather represents the CIPD as an expert on the British and International Standards Committees that develop human capital and human resource management standards. She is the independent Chair of the BSI’s International Human Resource Management Committee, which is responsible for UK input to the work of ISO Technical Committee 260 Human Resource Management.
Her focus is on ensuring that CIPD’s voice, its evidence-based points of view and research insights inform the development of British and International standards in the domain of people management. She has contributed to the development of BSI’s Valuing People suite of standards and has participated in the work of ISO TC260 since 2010, including the development of standards concerning workforce planning, human capital reporting, impact of hire, inclusion and diversity, employee engagement and HR terminology.
She is a co-author of the book Human Capital Management Standards – A Complete Guide.
Melanie Green: Research Adviser
Melanie joined the CIPD in 2017, specialising in learning & development and skills research. Prior to the CIPD, Mel worked as an HR practitioner in a technology organisation, working on a variety of learning and development initiatives, and has previously worked as a researcher in an employee engagement and well-being consultancy.
Melanie holds a master’s degree in Occupational Psychology from University of Surrey, where she conducted research into work–life boundary styles and the effect of this on employee well-being and engagement.
Jonny Gifford, Senior Adviser for Organisational Behaviour
Jonny’s work centres on generating robust and relevant research insight and strengthening links between research and practice. He has been conducting applied research in the field of employment and people management for the best part of 20 years, with previous roles at Westminster Business School, the Institute for Employment Studies and Roffey Park Institute. His interests include job quality or ‘good work’, workplace conflict, and behavioural science insights into core HR areas such as recruitment, reward, performance management, ethical behaviour and wellbeing. He directs the CIPD’s annual Applied Research Conference, leads the CIPD’s work on evidence-based practice, and is a seasoned public speaker.
He is an Academic Member of the CIPD, a Fellow of CEBMa, the Center for Evidence-Based Management and currently working on his PhD, focused on work autonomy and management control. @jonnygiff
Meryl Levington, Knowledge Exchange Manager – PrOPEL Hub Project
Meryl joined the Research Team in 2020 to manage the PrOPEL Hub project, (Productivity Outcomes of workplace Practice, Engagement and Learning) a major new initiative designed to support improvements in productivity through enhanced workplace practice and employee engagement. Prior to CIPD Meryl has worked in universities businesses schools and in student enterprise and employability, and run a consultancy delivering economic development projects around enterprise, sector development and small business growth.
Meryl has a master’s degree in Entrepreneurship from Durham University, where she undertook research on stakeholder management and engagement, and a degree in modern foreign languages from The University of London.
Hayfa Mohdzaini: Senior Research Adviser
Hayfa joined in 2020 as the CIPD's Senior Research Adviser in Data, Technology and AI. She started her career in the private sector working in IT and then HR, and has been writing for the HR community since 2012. Previously she worked for another membership organisation (UCEA) where she expanded the range of pay and workforce benchmarking data available to the higher education HR community. Hayfa has degrees in computer science and human resources from University of York and University of Warwick respectively.
She is interested in how the people profession can contribute to good work through technology.
Rebecca Peters: Research Adviser
Rebecca joined the Research team in 2019, specialising in the area of health and well-being at work as both a practitioner and a researcher. Before joining the CIPD Rebecca worked part time at Kingston University in the Business School research department, where she worked on several research-driven projects. Additionally, Rebecca worked part time at a health & well-being consultancy where she facilitated various well-being workshops, both externally and in-house.
Rebecca has a master’s degree in Occupational Psychology from Kingston University, where she conducted research on Prison Officers’ resilience and coping strategies. The output of this research consisted of a behavioural framework which highlighted positive and negative strategies that Prison Officers used in their daily working life.
Jake Young: Research Associate
Jake joined the CIPD in 2018, having completed a master’s degree in Social Science Research Methods at the University of Nottingham. He also holds an undergraduate degree in Criminology and Sociology.
Jake’s research interests concern aspects of Diversity and Inclusion, such as inequality, gender and identity in the workplace. Jake is currently involved in the development of a research project examining what works in creating interventions designed to promote diversity in the workplace.