The CQI's Executive team, roles and responsibilities.
The CQI's Executive, led by the CEO, is responsible for implementing its strategy. It is accountable to the Board of Trustees.
Vincent Desmond, Acting CEO
Vincent’s early career was in education and educational management, working as director of studies at International House (IH) in the UK, Egypt and the Czech Republic. During this time he acted as an assessor in the International House global network and developed the quality management modules of the IH Diploma in Educational Management Skills, in conjunction with Aston University.
During a period of MBA study in 2000, Vincent joined IRCA, where he ran the IRCA training certification business. This involved working with the training community to update and improve training provision for management systems auditors globally. After taking the role of deputy director of IRCA in 2003, he expanded the portfolio of IRCA certification products, and established a subsidiary in Japan and regional representatives in South East Asia. He also led on IRCA’s accreditation to ISO 17024.
He became acting CEO of the CQI in 2015 and represents the CQI at a number of industry groups.
Outside the CQI, Vincent is married with two children, and finds time to sail in the Solent, sing in chamber choirs and swim.
Otto Balsiger, Executive Director of Finance & Business Management, and Chair of the IRCA Japan Board
Otto qualified as an accountant in 1998 and became a fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) in 2003. He specialised in the audit of charities in 2000, leading audits of various well-known national charities and private schools.
He moved on to internal auditing at the British Council, where he led audits of the organisation's country offices around the globe, implementing a new internal audit programme. He also advised on the roll-out of web-based accounting software to offices in 109 countries.
Otto moved out of auditing when he became finance manager at EveryChild, a children’s charity. He joined the CQI in 2011 to lead the finance team, later taking responsibility for the institute’s IT, and becoming executive director in 2014.
Outside the CQI, Otto loves spending time with his family and is a black belt in taekwondo. He is also treasurer of HENRY, a charity giving babies and young children a healthy start in life.
Vina Bongiorno, Executive Director of Commercial Partnerships
Vina brings with her over a decade of international experience partnering with blue-chip organisations to build mutually beneficial, long-term business partnerships.
Vina’s early career began in executive recruitment, where she specialised in recruiting for the Procurement profession. Vina’s passion for professional development eventually drew her to CPA Australia, where she joined to lead the Melbourne based corporate business development portfolio. In this role, Vina was responsible for building relationships with C-suite executives from over 100 leading organisations (including IBM, BHP Billiton, LinkedIn and Virgin) and partnering on a variety of finance related initiatives designed to raise the profile of Certified Practising Accountants in Australia and abroad. On moving to London, Vina joined a prominent British chamber of commerce to lead a major change initiative for their corporate membership programme.
Vina’s distinctive blend of experience working within both multinational corporates and smaller, non-profit organisations provides her with unique insights to draw on in her role leading the Corporate Partner programme at the CQI. Vina holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication (Major in Public Relations), and is currently studying in the field of Management Consulting.
Outside the CQI, Vina enjoys international travel and cuisine, practicing yoga and portrait photography.
Estelle Clark, Executive Director of Policy
Having previously been the CQI Chairman, Estelle is also Chairman of the Technical & Advisory Board of Lloyds Register Quality Assurance (LRQA), a member of the Policy Advisory Council of the UK Accreditation Service (UKAS) and Chairman of the Stakeholder Board of Riversimple (an SME who have designed the world’s lightest and most fuel-efficient car). Estelle is also a judge of several quality and innovation awards.
Previously, Estelle was Group Director of Safety & Business Assurance for Lloyd’s Register having held similar senior executive roles at ABB Alstom Power, Fujitsu and the UK Financial Ombudsman Service. Her professional background is in business management systems, customer engagement and project management.
In 2009 Estelle was awarded ‘Women in The City’ lifetime achievement award by Coutts Bank. In 2006-2007 she won ‘UK Quality Leader of the Year’ and representing the UK she then was then named European Quality leader of the Year. Estelle is a Chartered Fellow of the CQI and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Outside of work, Estelle is a passionate sailor, a keen mycologist and enjoys everything that London has to offer.
Sophie Langkjær-Bain, Executive Director of Capability and Change
Sophie joined the CQI in 2012 to lead a change to culture and organisational development. She began her career working in recruitment and HR for a fast-growing start-up business, and has since then worked in both the charity and private sector. Her roles have been varied, complementing her people remit with corporate governance, Health & Safety, IT, Finance, and other business functions.
Sophie’s current role at the CQI focuses on capability and change, developing people, projects and operational governance for the success of the organisation.
Sophie is a Fellow of the CIPD, and holds an MA in psychology and a postgraduate diploma in HR management. She is particularly interested in working with organisations going through periods of change, and seeing people enabled to meet their potential.
Outside the CQI, Sophie enjoys Georgette Heyer and Eurovision.
Tally Singer, Executive Director of Operations
Tally has significant experience in account, sales and operational management, initially within the legal sector, specialising in conveyancing. During this time she worked for a large corporate property company, starting in their legal division managing an operational team, before moving on to account management and working with both lawyers and estate agents. From there she moved on to work for smaller organisations delivering professional services, broadening her experience of different sectors.
Joining the CQI in 2013 as membership manager for IRCA, she initially focused on improving customer service delivery, expanding her role to incorporate the training organisations before moving on to lead the review of the CQI’s learning and development portfolio. Becoming executive director, Operations, Tally has responsibility for both the individual membership and learning and development.
Outside the CQI Tally likes to spend time with friends, enjoying village life in the countryside.