People professionals, line managers and employers around the world rely on us for insights and guidance on everything from learning and development to wellbeing and new ways of working. Our experts also provide analysis and comment to media and policymakers across the UK and Ireland on a range of issues relating to work and working lives. The team ensures that all our resources and recommendations are grounded in evidence, and draw upon insights from employment law, workplace practice and research. 

Our experts in the people profession and corporate governance

Rebecca Peters

Rebecca Peters, Research Adviser

Rebecca joined our research team in 2019, specialising in the area of health and wellbeing 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 and wellbeing consultancy where she facilitated various wellbeing workshops, both externally and in-house. 

Rebecca has a Master’s degree in occupational psychology from Kingston University, where she completed 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.  

Our experts in resourcing and EDI (equality, diversity and inclusion)

Lutfur Ali, Senior Public Policy Adviser, Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Change

Lutfur has dedicated more than 30 years to championing social justice, equality, diversity, inclusion (EDI) and change in the public, private and third sector. He strongly believes in the importance of effective EDI leadership in driving sustainable improvements and delivering organisational vision, mission and goals. 

Before joining the CIPD, Lutfur led consultancy practice and held several high-profile roles in the public, private and not-for-profit sector, including the Tribal Group PLC, the Department of Health and the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority. As assistant chief executive at Tower Hamlets Council he led a transformation programme to reshape the workforce, secure partnerships, generate income and improve overall service delivery. Lutfur has served on a number of judicial public inquiries and government advisory bodies, including the Zahid Mubarak Inquiry, the Prime Minister’s Prevent Task Force and the International Ministerial Working Group on Illegal Working. Lutfur is also a non-executive director for the Business Continuity and Resilience Institute. 

Claire McCartney, Senior Policy Adviser, Resourcing and Inclusion

Claire is our senior resourcing and inclusion policy adviser. She leads our policy work on flexible and new ways of working and resourcing and talent management. Claire also works in the area of equality, diversity and inclusion and leads policy work on carers, working parents and compassionate bereavement support. She also works with colleagues on menopause and menstrual health workplace policy support.

Previously, Claire ran her own research and consultancy organisation and was acting head of research and principal researcher at Roffey Park. Claire has worked on several international projects, is the author of a range of reports, has responded to numerous Government consultations and has given evidence at a range of parliamentary groups and committees.   

Our experts in reward, wellbeing and employee relations

Charles Cotton, Senior Performance and Reward Adviser

Charles is a senior adviser and directs our reward research agenda. He recently led a project focusing on how HR teams can help tackle in-work poverty, how workplaces can be more transparent about reward, and how employers can support their staff during the cost-of-living crisis. 

Charles is also responsible for our public policy work around pay and benefits and has given evidence to several government select committees, including topics such as executive remuneration and ethnicity pay reporting, as well responding to consultations on pensions, the national minimum wage, and corporate governance.

Before joining the CIPD, Charles worked for the Industrial Relations Services Department and the Local Government Management Board. He has a degree in economics from Aberystwyth University and a Master's in HR from the London School of Economics. He is a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD.

Rachel Suff, Senior Employee Relations Adviser

Rachel joined us as a senior policy adviser in 2014 to help shape the public policy debate and champion better work and working lives. Rachel is a policy and research professional with over 25 years’ experience in the employment and HR arena. An important part of her role is to ensure that the views of the profession inform our policy thinking on health and wellbeing and employment relations.

Rachel leads a range of policy and research studies about health and wellbeing at work, and represents the CIPD on key advisory groups, such as NHS England's National Health and Wellbeing Expert Advisory Group and the Council for Work and Health.

Rachel is a qualified HR practitioner and researcher with a Master’s in human resource management from Portsmouth University and a post-graduate diploma in social research methods from Sussex University. Before joining the CIPD, Rachel worked as a senior policy adviser at Acas. 

Our experts in skills and learning

Lizzie Crowley, Senior Policy Adviser, Skills

Lizzie is our 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 several 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.

Our experts in technology and the future of work

Hayfa Mohdzaini, Senior Research Adviser

Hayfa joined us in 2020. Hayfa has degrees in computer science and human resources from University of York and University of Warwick respectively.

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. 

She is interested in how the people profession can contribute to good work through technology and has written several publications on our behalf, as well as judging our people management awards, speaking at conferences and exhibitions and providing commentary to the media on the subjects of people and technology.

Our experts in workplace culture

Jake Young, Research Adviser

Jake joined us 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 leads on the Good Work Index, our annual benchmark of job quality in the UK. Jake has also contributed to many Evidence Reviews, providing a critical and evidence-based view on many different organisational areas, including employee engagement, digital work and mental wellbeing, and what works in diversity management.

Views and insights

Explore our Views and insights

Thought leadership
Briefing | Social mobility in the workplace: Removing the 'class ceiling'

A look behind the research showing how an employee's socioeconomic background or class directly affects their development opportunities with recommendations on how to maximise social mobility in the workplace

Thought leadership
How are organisations transforming their HR operating models?

We look at the main focus areas and share practical examples from organisations who are optimising their HR operating model

Thought leadership
Skills, better jobs and business partnership key to UK growth agenda

Ben Willmott explores the new Labour Government strategies to enhance skills and employment to boost economic growth

Thought leadership
UK employment law round-up: June 2024

Monthly round-up of changes in employment law in the UK

All views and insights