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Meet our Senior Management Team (SMT)

Our Senior Management Team are our most senior staff members. They oversee the day-to-day running of our organisation and advise the board. This page introduces you to them and tells you a bit about their background.

Chief Executive – Peter Thompson

Peter became our Chief Executive in April 2012 after three years as Director of Strategy and Information. He is responsible for our overall performance and is focussed on our vision of ensuring high quality care for everyone affected by assisted reproduction.

Peter previously worked as a civil servant for a number of Government departments, including the Ministry of Justice and the Cabinet Office. Among a variety of roles, Peter was responsible for the Government's policy on the legal recognition of transsexual people, EU justice policy and the Prime Minister's programme of constitutional renewal.

Peter became an external member of the Council of Queen Mary University of London in November 2017.

Director of Strategy and Corporate Affairs – Clare Ettinghausen

Clare joined us in 2018 and leads the teams working in policy, communications and engagement, intelligence and research, and governance.

She was previously Deputy Chief Executive of the Electoral Commission, working on the regulation of political parties and best practice in elections management. Before that she was Chief Executive of the Hansard Society, an independent charity. 

Clare has worked in both the Westminster and the Canadian parliaments and has lectured on British politics and parliament to practitioners, academics, students and a variety of other audiences. She has acted as a consultant for a number of political and human rights organisations and has published articles in a wide range of academic and political journals. She is also a school governor at a school in West London.


Director of Finance and Resources – Richard Sydee

Richard joined us in November 2016 and is also Director of Finance and Resources for the Human Tissue Authority. He leads the finance and facilities functions, ensuring they support us to deliver our objectives.

Richard is a Chartered Management Accountant and most recently worked in the NHS as the Associate Director of Financial Services for Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust. He has extensive experience across a number of central Government departments and agencies, including the Ministry of Justice, where he was Financial Controller up until 2014.  

Director of Compliance and Information – Rachel Cutting

Rachel Cutting graduated from the University of Nottingham in 1995 and completed the Association of Clinical Embryologists post graduate diploma in her first trainee embryologist position.  In 2001, she gained the position of Principal Embryologist at Jessop Fertility in Sheffield and was Person Responsible for 10 years and quality manager for 16 years.

Rachel was chair of the Association of Clinical Embryologists from 2011-2014 and has been involved with several professional bodies and organisations. She was instrumental in writing the curriculum for the Reproductive Science Scientific Training programme. She has written several papers and chapters and has presented regularly at national and international conferences.

Working closely with the HFEA for several years Rachel was involved in writing the national guidelines for single embryo transfer and was committed to the One at a Time strategy to reduce the multiple pregnancy rate following IVF.

Rachel was a member of the HEFA Authority and sat on the Statutory Approvals Committee until she joined the HFEA as the Director of Compliance and Information in 2019.

Review date: 16 July 2022