Rachel Cartland graduated from Oxford University in 1972 and joined the Administrative Grade of the Hong Kong Civil Service where she worked until her retirement in 2006. Her first posting was to the New Territories Administration Headquarters. During her time with the Government she served in a variety of senior posts and gained wide exposure to policy formulation processes, management and the Hong Kong political scene.

As Deputy Secretary for Recreation and Culture, she oversaw the legislative framework for the introduction of cable and satellite TV, and the setting up of the Arts Development Council, among other things. As Assistant Director of Social Welfare (Social Security) she had responsibility for an annual budget of HK$25 billion and about 2,000 staff, and for delivering a socially critical service of high political sensitivity, impacting all sectors of grassroots Hong Kong.

Rachel now undertakes public sector consulting. Her current voluntary activities include membership of Hong Kong University SPACE’s Academic Committee for the Higher Diploma in Social Security, Vision 2047, the Tender Committee for the Remaking of the Fringe Club, the Scholarship Committee of the Oxford & Cambridge Society of Hong Kong, the Development Committee of the China Oxford Scholarship Fund (Co-Chairman) and the Women’s Foundation (Board of Governors).