Gillian has dedicated her career to improving public finance and is passionate about supporting women around the world to fulfil their career potential in a challenging area of finance so much so that it has compelled her to set up PFW.
Gillian is a senior leader with substantial international experience in the field of public finance. She has extensive professional networks around the world and is widely known for her leadership skills and strategic thinking in public policy and finance. During her career she has held the positions of: Head of International, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy (CIPFA); Head of Public Sector, ACCA (the Global Association of Chartered Certified Accountants); Senior Fellow, the Office for Public Management; Head of Policy, the Audit Commission; and Head of Finance of the Scrutiny Unit, House of Commons.
She was a board member of the Confederation of Asian and Pacific Accountants (CAPA) public sector committee for nine years, a former member of Accountancy Europe Public Sector Committee, Specialist advisor on UK public sector audit for two parliamentary select committees, Vice Chair of the Macro Economic Committee, European Centre of Employees & Employers providing public services (CEEP) and Advisor to the Parliamentary Observer, Financial Reporting Accounting Board.
Barbara has many years of experience in international development and non-profits as well as the financial sector. Her international development experience has given her a strong interest in gender equality issues and she is excited by the potential of PFW to contribute to the international debate on eradicating gender inequality in a frequently overlooked area of public finance.
She has lived and worked in Europe and the Americas, speaks six languages and is well connected around the world. She brings complementary skills of leadership, stakeholder management, strategic analysis, business development and research.
After her Master Degree in English and Business Administration, Barbara worked as a communications specialist in the financial services industry in Switzerland. After a Masters of Advanced Studies in International Development and Cooperation, she moved into the international development arena, living and working in Brazil, Cuba, Bolivia and Guatemala, where gender work was a big part of her portfolio. Her exposure to public finance came when working as Senior Research Manager at ACCA in London. She then went on to support the family business in flight simulation, which was struggling financially and operationally. She opened and managed a regional office in Brazil to access the South American market and later moved to Florida to supervise the US office, reaching the targeted turnaround at the end of 2017. One of Barbara’s strengths is building strong relationships with multisectoral stakeholders from grassroots level to government agencies and multilateral organisations.