Meet our Authority members
Our Authority members are non staff members who are appointed to bring an objective point of view to our board and committees. This page introduces you to them and tells you a bit about their background.
Julia Chain (Chair)
Julia has over 30 years’ experience in legal and management roles in both private practice and industry.
In her most recent executive role, Julia was UK Managing Director and International VP of Advanced Discovery Inc, a global corporate specialising in E-Discovery and Risk Management. A qualified corporate lawyer, Julia began her career at Shearman & Sterling in New York and at Herbert Smith, before joining Andersen Legal where she became the first woman managing partner of a top 100 law firm. Subsequently, Julia joined the board of T-Mobile U.K as General Counsel, thereafter founding a legal change management consultancy which was acquired by Huron Consulting Inc.
Julia is currently Deputy Chair of Norwood, a leading learning disability and children’s charity, and Chair of Sadeh, an environmental educational charity. Her previous roles include Deputy Chair of the Commission for Racial Equality and non executive director of Frontier Economics Ltd.
Margaret Gilmore (Deputy Chair)
Margaret has been an Authority member since 1 April 2015 and is our Deputy Chair. Having spent 19 years as a journalist at the BBC, she continues to write, lecture and commentate on national security and communications issues part time.
Margaret is on the Board of the Food Standards Agency. She has also worked as an Assistant Boundary Commissioner for England, a Senior Associate Fellow with the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) specialising in risk and counter-terrorism, and as a BBC correspondent.
Anita is an independent management consultant who has personal experience of unsuccessful IVF. She joined as an Authority member on 1 April 2015 and her term of office continues until 31 December 2021.
Anita brings 18 years’ experience as a civil servant working in the Home Office, Cabinet Office, Northern Ireland Office and as a Director in the Ministry of Justice.
Tim is Medical Director and Person Responsible of Oxford Fertility, and Group Medical and Founding Director of The Fertility Partnership (TFP), a group with 20 IVF clinics in six European countries. He is GMC Responsible Officer for TFP’s eight UK clinics. Tim is also Associate Professor of Reproductive Medicine in the Nuffield Department of Women’s and Reproductive Health at the University of Oxford. He became an Authority member on the 18th of January 2021.
Tim was a member of the Guidelines Development Group that wrote the 2013 NICE Fertility Guidelines. He is co-author of the UK’s highest selling undergraduate textbook in Obstetrics and Gynaecology and has published over 100 research papers and chapters. Tim is a firm believer in Evidence Based Medicine and has undertaken and published a number of randomised controlled trials assessing the place of different interventions in assisted conception. He works as a hands-on clinician, treating NHS and self-funded patients at Oxford Fertility and leads the Preimplantation Genetic Testing (PGT-M/SR) programme.
Jonathan is a Professor of Law at the University of Oxford. He became an Authority member on 18 July 2018 and his term runs until 17 July 2024.
Jonathan teaches medical law and ethics, family law and criminal law. He has written extensively in all of these areas and published over 50 books.
He is also a qualified solicitor but has not practiced since qualification.
Jason is Consultant Embryologist, head of fertility services and HFEA Person Responsible at the Shropshire & Mid-Wales fertility centre, as well as the current Chair of the Association of Reproductive and Clinical Scientists (ARCS). He became an Authority member on 18 January 2021 and has previously worked with the HFEA on a number of committees and as an external advisor to the inspection team.
As well as being a visiting Professor at the University of Chester/ University Centre Shrewsbury, Jason sits on the Genomics and Reproductive Science specialty advisory committee and the examination committee for Reproductive Science at the Royal College of Pathologists, is a Director of the Association of Clinical Scientists and a member of the Professional Council of the Academy for Healthcare Science.
Yacoub is the Medical Director of the Assisted Conception Unit (ACU) at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital and Director of their pre-implantation genetic testing for monogenic disorders (PGT-M) programme. He became an Authority member on 1 April 2015 after working with us for a number of years on committees and initiatives, and his term continues until 31 December 2021.
As well as being an Honorary Senior Lecturer at King’s College London and leading a research programme, he serves on numerous important boards and groups in the field of reproductive medicine. Having published more than 100 journal papers and book chapters and lectured across the globe, his expertise is called upon regularly by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and the media.
Ermal is an ordained minister of The Methodist Church. He was a member of the Authority from January 2010 to December 2011, and on his return to London after four years working in South Africa, was newly appointed for a term from 1 May 2019 to 30 April 2022.
He is currently the Superintendent Minister of the Barking Dagenham and Ilford Methodist Circuit, and an Associate of the Susanna Wesley Foundation at Roehampton University. Ermal’s interest in Bioethics began while he was on the Staff of the Council of Churches for Britain and Ireland, and developed further as Tutor in Ethics at The Queen’s Foundation in Birmingham. At Roehampton, he is working mainly on processes of transformational change in Church and Society.
Ermal was formerly the Lead Chair of the London Methodist District and Co-Chair of the Faiths Forum for London. He brings to the Authority his experience of working pastorally with people who have been affected by infertility, in London and South Africa, as well as his grounding in Theology and Ethics.
Anne is a consultant in Clinical Genetics at the South East of Scotland Clinical Genetic Service in Edinburgh. She became an Authority member on 1 February 2016 and her term continues until 31 January 2022.
Anne has a special interest in rare syndrome diagnosis and eye genetics, and after graduating from medical school at the Albert-Ludwigs-University in Germany, completed a PhD researching the role of collagen VI in muscular dystrophy.
Since November 2008, Anne has provided adult and paediatric genetic services for Fife, including prenatal and predictive testing. She’s a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (Edinburgh) and is a member of the British Society for Genetic Medicine, the European Society of Human Genetics, the Clinical Genetics Society and the UK Eye Genetics Group.
Alison has personal experience of many years of fertility treatment and her daughter was born following IVF and gestational surrogacy. She joined as an Authority member on 1 April 2021, and her term runs until 31 March 2024.
Alison also brings 14 years of experience as a regulator. She is Director of Content Standards, Licensing and Enforcement at Ofcom, where she leads teams with responsibility for licensing broadcasters, and setting and enforcing content standards for television, radio and on demand services. She also serves as an executive member on Ofcom's Content Board.
She began her career in television production, working as a producer and director on medical and scientific documentaries and other factual programmes.
Gudrun Moore is Professor of Clinical and Molecular Genetics at UCL’s Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health. She joined as an Authority member on 18 July 2018 and her term runs until 17 July 2024.
Gudrun's research includes the molecular genetics of major complications of pregnancy, foetal growth restriction, prematurity, pre-eclampsia, and recurrent miscarriage.
From 2009-2014, in collaboration with Professor Lesley Regan, she established the 'Baby Bio Bank', facilitating research into the main complications of pregnancy. She has an international reputation for her work in both paediatric and obstetric specialities, recognised by awards to an honorary fellowship of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and a fellowship of the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
Catharine spent 20 years as a film maker. She started as a graduate trainee producer with the BBC and ultimately set up her own production company.
In 2002, she became a magistrate and left television to take up other judicial roles and to join the board of the Human Tissue Authority, where she became Audit Committee Chair and Senior Independent Director (she also sat on the independent appeals committee of the HFEA.) Catharine is now the Senior Independent Director of the Gambling Commission, and sits on the Commission’s Remuneration Committee and its fourth National Lottery Committee.
She is a member of the Legal Services Board and chairs its Audit and Risk assurance Committee, as well as serving two terms on the Determinations Panel of the Pensions Regulator. She sits on tribunals in mental health and employment and as a lay assessor on civil cases in the county courts, and has recently been appointed to the Health Service Products Appeal Tribunal. She is also a trustee for CPotential, a special needs charity.
Ruth is a counsellor with over 20 years’ experience, specialising in infertility since 2002. She became an Authority member on 1 January 2016 and her term continues until 31 December 2021.
Currently a Senior Fertility Counsellor, offering counselling across the whole of the UK by Skype, Ruth has previously worked for fertility clinics in Southampton, Birmingham and London, helping both NHS and private patients from diagnosis to the end of treatment and beyond.
Ruth has previously been a staff counsellor for a variety of public sector organisations and particularly enjoyed her time as counsellor for all the personnel at the Historic Royal Palaces in London. She’s a former Chair and executive member of the British Infertility Counselling Association (BICA) and served on the British Fertility Society’s (BFS) executive as counselling representative.
Review date: 28 October 2023