Civil Service Pension Board member biographies

Margaret Edwards - Chair

Margaret was appointed as CSPB Chair in October 2016 and has 25 years senior management experience in the NHS and Department of Health and Chair of the National Oversight Group for High Secure Mental Health services. She is also a member of the Senior Salaries Pay Review Body and a Civil Service Commissioner. Margaret’s appointment was extended for a further three years in October 2019.

Ian Albert - Member Nominee

Ian is a long-standing member of the board. He recently retired from the Department of Work and Pensions and is currently a Councillor for North Hertfordshire District Council.

David Howdon - Member Nominee

David was appointed to the board in 2015. He is an economist in the Department of Work and Pensions currently working on welfare reform and previously worked on private pensions and automatic enrolment. He is a member of the FDA’s Executive Committee.

Neil License - Member Nominee

Neil is a long-standing member of the PCS National Executive and has been a member of the board since June 2010. Neil is a trustee of the two PCS staff pension schemes. In his day job, he trains Tax inspectors. In his spare time, he officiates at judo competitions and watches as much rugby union and cricket as his wife will allow.

Jayne Beeslee - Member Nominee

Jayne joined the CSPB in October 2019 as Member Nominee. Jayne has over 34 years’ HR experience and has held senior roles in several Government departments and Agencies and related Public bodies. Jayne is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development, and is currently a Deputy Director working for the Welsh Government as a Strategic OD and HR Partner. Jayne is also a member of the Prospect union.

Sir Adrian Johns - Non-Executive member

Sir Adrian joined the CSPB in late 2017 following a 40-year public service career in the armed forces and, latterly, the FCO. He has numerous charitable interests and is also a member of the Senior Salaries Pay Review Body.

Lesley Davie - Non-Executive member

Lesley was appointed to the CSPB in October 2017 and has over 30 years senior pensions management experience. Lesley is a Fellow of the Pensions Management Institute, and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Allan Course - Non-Executive member

Allan was appointed to the CSPB in 2010. He has been a Professional Pension Trustee since 2006 and prior to that was a Partner at Watson Wyatt (now Willis Towers Watson), a worldwide firm of Actuaries and Consultants.

Jonathan Russell - Employer Nominee

Jonathan joined the CSPB as an employer nominee in March 2016. He has been Chief People Officer at the Valuations Office Agency since April 2018. Before this, he was HR Director for the Department for Work & Pensions.

Mervyn Thomas - Employer Nominee

Mervyn joined the CSPB in February 2018. His role in the Cabinet Office is the Executive Director of Employee and Trade Union Relations. He supports the Minister in his engagement with employers, the trade unions including the TUC on issues facing public sector workforces. He is also a Director of Civil Service Human Resources.

Guy Lester - Employer Nominee

Guy Lester was appointed Cabinet Office Finance Director in April 2015, this role directs the holder to become a member of the CSPB. He was previously Director of Resources for the RAF, and before that SRO for the future nuclear deterrent programme.

Debra Soper - Ex Officio Member

Debra is the Director of Civil Service and Royal Mail Pensions at Cabinet Office. She has worked in the pensions industry for over 30 years and joined Cabinet Office from the private sector in 2016. Debra is responsible for the effective scheme management of the Pension Schemes under her remit.

Chris Wobschall - Ex Officio Member

Chris Joined the CSPB as an ex officio member in June 2019. Chris is the Deputy Director of the Government Internal Audit Agency (GIAA) and reports to the Board on audits commissioned by the scheme.