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Our executives

Our team of executives are responsible for the day-to-day leadership of the organisation. They each have their own specialist areas, and are led by the Chief Executive.

Michael Ward, Chief Executive

Michael gained his degree in agriculture. After a few years in farm management, he moved from tractor to calculator and began a career in accountancy.

After starting in practice, Michael moved into the engineering industry, where he enjoyed a successful career with companies including GKN and Balfour Beatty.

Michael moved to the charity sector and the RSPCA eight years ago, firstly as Head of Finance and then as Chief Operating Officer and Director of Resources. In June 2017, Michael became interim Chief Executive.

James Yeates, Chief Veterinary Officer

James joined the RSPCA as a practising vet for the Bristol and District Branch before becoming Chief Veterinary Officer in 2012.

His work as Chief Veterinary Officer covers the welfare of animals in all species and all contexts, both in England and Wales and internationally. He holds degrees in Veterinary science and Bioethics, and a PhD.

He's an RCVS Registered Specialist in Animal welfare, science, ethics and law, a Diplomate of the RCVS and the European College of Animal Welfare and Behavioural Medicine, and a Fellow of the RCVS.

Ray Goodfellow, Chief Legal Officer

Ray is a solicitor with over 20 years experience in-house at the RSPCA. Ray now serves as the Society’s Chief Legal Officer overseeing the legal directorate (which includes the Prosecutions Department).

Ray advises the Chief Executive and Society on all legal matters concerning Governance and Charity Law and having oversight of all legal work of the Society.

Helen Tracey, Chief Financial Officer

Helen Tracey has been at the RSPCA for over four years, initially joining as Head of Finance. She has a wealth of experience in the finance sector, having worked for major corporations such as Virgin Atlantic Airways, Legal & General and BT. Before coming to the RSPCA she was the CFO for Central Sussex College.

Helen holds an MBA from the University of Brighton, and is an associate of The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and the Chartered Management Institute.

Chris Wainwright, Director of Communications and External Affairs

Chris joined the Society in 2016 from international NGO, WaterAid. Chris has over 20 years strategic communications experience and has led multi disciplined teams in the senior civil service, a FTSE 100 company, and a US corporate communication consultancy.

At the RSPCA, Chris leads a directorate that encompasses all aspects of internal and external communications and marketing, including: public affairs and campaigns, public relations, brand and content, digital engagement, policy and science, education and international affairs.

Amy Quirk, Director of Field Operations

Amy joined the RSPCA in April 2017 from the largest retailer in Europe, where she headed their security and intelligence operations. She has expertise and experience in international commercial equine management and is a former Detective Inspector in the Metropolitan police.

Amy oversees the Operations Directorate which includes all the on-the-ground work – the inspectors and animal officers, the animal centres, animal hospitals and supporting the branches of the RSPCA. She is a firm believer in prevention rather than prosecution wherever possible and in showing compassion and care to animals and their owners.

Sally Cornish, Director of Income Generation

Sally joined the RSPCA as Interim Director of Income Generation in September 2016. Sally has worked in the voluntary sector for the past 17 years at a number of charities including The British Museum, Macmillan Cancer Support, Scope, Sense, Diabetes UK and Children’s Society to name but a few.

Sally also volunteered as an RSPCA home checker for seven years and was a Friend of South Godstone Animal Centre helping them raise the money to build their cattery.

Sally’s team is responsible for raising the critical funds we need to deliver our charitable aims and objectives.

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