Rachel Bentley

Associate Director

As Associate Director Rachel will develop CLES’s community wealth building pillar of making financial power work for local places. She will also be working alongside colleagues and practitioners on a variety of projects which create and implement progressive economic strategies that work for everyone.


Rachel joined the organisation in November 2020. Commenting on her new role, she said:

“My professional, academic and personal experience has given me an insight into how 21st century communities in the UK and around the world are struggling to adapt to the modern global economy and changing societal structures. It is imperative that we generate and share wealth more fairly by creating systems that work for people, planet and place. I chose CLES because I believe that the best way to create stronger, fairer and more inclusive communities is through fostering local solutions and I was intrigued by CLES’s innovative work in this field.”

What CLES values about Rachel

CLES chose Rachel because of her experience in financial services and specifically tax, which is an essential lever in the public policy toolbox. She has nearly 20 years of international project, client and relationship management experience primarily from her time as a director at PwC, one of the largest professional services firms in the world. At PwC, Rachel worked in Japan, the US, South Africa and the UK with regular travel to Nigeria.

Rachel left PwC in April 2019, to pursue a career in public policy. She was part of the inaugural Masters in Public Administration cohort at UCL’s Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose. A core tenet of the course is that the public, private and third sectors must work collaboratively in a multi-disciplinary approach to our socio-economic and environmental problems.

Rachel’s interest in devolution, regionalism and localism is long-held – she wrote her first Masters these on the decentralisation of fiscal powers to Japanese local governments. There are parallels to be drawn between the UK and Japanese experience in terms of urban and rural divisions, the concentration of wealth and opportunity in large urban centres and an ageing population.

Rachel’s most recent work was alongside the Biscay Government in Northern Spain where she worked on the development of a world-first fiscal system structured around the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Other relevant affiliations

  • Trustee at Fair Money Advice, a charity based in East London providing free and impartial debt advice and financial education.

Get in touch with Rachel Bentley via email, LinkedIn or Twitter