Lea is a former Director of the Centre for Policy Studies (2004-07). She is on the University of London Council, a Governor of the London School of Economics and a non-executive director of Arbuthnot Banking Group plc. She is the author of many papers including “The 2006 Essential Guide to the European Union”, “Education and training: a business blueprint for reform” and “Healthcare in the UK: the need for reform”. She has a high media profile and writes regularly for the Daily Telegraph.
She spent over 5 years at Mitsubishi Bank, rising to Chief Economist, working on all the major economies. She was subsequently employed by Lehman Brothers as their Chief UK Economist, concentrating on the UK economy and markets.
Prior to joining Mitsubishi Bank in 1988, she spent 16 years in the Civil Service in the Treasury, the Department of Trade and Industry, the Central Statistical Office and the Civil Service College - with a break for teaching economics at Thames Polytechnic (now the University of Greenwich).
She has served on the Council of the Royal Economic Society, the National Consumer Council, the Nurses' Pay Review Body, the ONS Statistics Advisory Committee, the ESRC Research Priorities Board and the Retail Prices Advisory Committee.