Our Executive Directors
The Citizens Advice Executive Team is led by our Chief Executive Gillian Guy.
Gillian Guy became Chief Executive of the independent charity Citizens Advice, the body that leads, supports and promotes Citizens Advice Bureaux across England and Wales, in July 2010. Gillian joined from Victim Support, where she was CEO and led a major programme of change and development of new and improved services for victims.
Previously Gillian trained as a lawyer and spent eleven years as CEO of the London Borough of Ealing. She served as a non-executive board member and Chair of the Audit Committee of the National Audit Office and also as a non-judicial member of the Sentencing Council for England and Wales. Gillian is currently Chair of the BBA Consumer Panel.
Chief Operating Officer
Alistair Cromwell joined Citizens Advice in May 2011 as Director of the Change Programme. In this role he will be running the overall programme of work which flows from the Government's Consumer Landscape review as well as our internal change programme.
Prior to joining Citizens Advice, Alistair spent 15 years in management consulting, most recently as a Director at KPMG where he led major transformation programmes in both the public and voluntary sectors. This followed a policy role in the Civil Service (in the Department for Education) before which he originally trained and qualified as a Chartered Accountant in private practice.
Director of Policy and Advocacy
James Plunkett joined Citizens Advice in October 2011 as Head of Consumer and Public Services and Campaigns. In September 2015, he became Director of Policy and Advocacy, leading an agenda of policy research on issues from consumer market failures to welfare and public service reform. As part of his role, James oversees the organisation's statutory role as the official consumer advocate.
James was formerly Director of Policy at the Resolution Foundation where he established and led a number of influential policy processes including the Bain review of the National Minimum Wage and the Commission on Living Standards. James worked previously as a Policy Advisor in both 10 Downing Street and the Cabinet Office and as a strategy consultant in the private sector.
Director of Operations
Michele Shambrook joined Citizens Advice in April 2012, leading the Citizens Advice consumer service. In October 2015, she became Director of Operations. She leads teams responsible for setting the standards for service delivery and supporting and managing the delivery of service to clients across England and Wales. As part of her role, Michele oversees the delivery of the Citizens Advice Witness Service.
Michele joined from the Office of Fair Trading, where she led the delivery of the Consumer Direct service before it transferred to Citizens Advice in 2012. Before that she worked for Kent County Council and as a Trading Standards Officer.
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Director of People and Equality
Steve Whitehead joined Citizens Advice in November 2012. Having started his career as a trade union official, Steve moved into people management and development in 2000, and has held a series of senior roles in a number of local authorities. Prior to taking the decision that he wanted to work in the charity sector, Steve spent seven years at the London Borough of Newham, as the Deputy Director for legal, people and change, where he was responsible for the delivery of strategic people services and led a number of organisation-wide change initiatives.
Steve is a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD.