Board members bring a range of complementary skills and experience in areas such as finance, governance and health policy.
- NHS England non-executive directors
- NHS England executive directors
- NHS Improvement non-executive directors
- NHS Improvement executive directors
NHS England’s current non-executive directors are:
Lord David Prior
Lord Prior was educated at Cambridge University and subsequently qualified as a barrister. He trained in finance at Lehman Brothers and Lazard Freres in New York before holding a number of senior positions within the industrial sector, including British Steel, where he was Commercial Director. He was elected MP for North Norfolk in 1997.
He served as Chairman of Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust from 2002 – 2012 before becoming Chairman of the Care Quality Commission.
In 2015, he was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Health and created a Life Peer. In December 2016, he was appointed as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with specific responsibility for developing industrial strategy. He stepped down from this role in December 2017 to become Chairman of University College London Hospitals.
He is deputy Chairman at Lazard.
Non-executive Director, Vice-Chair
David Roberts, CBE
David joined Nationwide on 1 September 2014 and was appointed as Chairman in July 2015. From 2010 to 2014 he was on the Board of Lloyds Banking Group, where he was Group Deputy Chairman and Chairman of the Board Risk Committee.
David has many years of experience at board and executive level in retail and commercial banking in the UK and internationally. He held various senior management positions in Barclays plc, culminating in his appointment in 2003 as a main Board Executive Director and Chief Executive, International Retail and Commercial Banking. David left in 2006 to join Bawag PSK AG, Austria’s second largest retail bank, as Chairman and Chief Executive. He is Chairman of Beazley plc, Vice Chairman of NHS England, a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Financial Services and holds an MBA and Honorary Doctorate in Business Administration from Henley Business School. In 2019 he was made a CBE for services to Financial Services and the NHS, and in 2020 was awarded the Gold Medal by the Chartered Institute of Management.
Mike was appointed CEO of Sainsbury’s on 9 July 2014 and retired May 2020. Before that he was Group Commercial Director, with responsibility for Trading, Marketing, IT and Online. He became an Executive Director in August 2007 after joining the Sainsbury’s Operating Board in October 2004. He joined Sainsbury’s from Big Food Group plc where he was a Board Director and Managing Director of Iceland Food Stores. He previously worked for both ASDA and Tesco, where he served in a variety of senior management roles.
He was bought up in West Sussex and studied Physics at the University of Birmingham. He began his career as a Marketing trainee at Unilever.
Professor the Lord Ara Darzi of Denham
Professor Darzi is Director of the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London. He also holds the Paul Hamlyn Chair of Surgery at Imperial College London, and the Institute of Cancer Research and is Executive Chair of the World Innovation Summit for Health in Qatar. He is a Consultant Surgeon at Imperial College Hospital NHS Trust and the Royal Marsden NHS Trust.
Professor Darzi leads a large multidisciplinary team across a diverse and impactful portfolio of academic and policy research. His work drives the identification, development and adoption of innovation across international healthcare systems and champions high quality care. He has published over 950 peer-reviewed research papers to date and has developed his status as a leading voice in the field of global health policy and innovation. In recognition of his achievements, Professor Darzi was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of the Royal Society and most recently, a foreign associate of the Institute of Medicine.
He was knighted for his services in medicine and surgery in 2002. In 2007, he was introduced to the United Kingdom’s House of Lords as Professor the Lord Darzi of Denham and appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department of Health to lead a major review of the NHS, which culminated in the publication of his report, ‘High Quality Care for All: NHS Next Stage Review’, in 2008. Upon relinquishing this Ministerial role in 2009, Professor Darzi was appointed by the Prime Minister as the United Kingdom’s Global Ambassador for Health and Life Sciences until March 2013. He currently sits as a Council Member for the UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and has been a member of Her Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council since June 2009. In January 2016, Professor Darzi was awarded the Order of Merit by Her Majesty the Queen for exceptionally meritorious service towards the advancement of medicine.
Rakesh Kapoor served as the Group Chief Executive of RB plc (Reckitt Benckiser) from 2011 to 2019. RB plc is a UK based Top 10 FTSE company with sales in over 200 countries and with more than 40,000 employees.
During his 8 years as CEO, Rakesh strategically repositioned the company away from a household cleaning company to a Global leader in Health and Hygiene. He was responsible for creating a mission driven company providing innovative solutions for people to be healthy and live better. The product portfolio transformed from just 20% of the business in Consumer Healthcare to over 60% now. The total shareholder returns during his tenure were 12% pa, more than double that of FTSE 100.
He is exceptionally proud of the RB ‘Save a child a minute’ program, which provided ground-breaking work in cutting by half the number of children under five dying globally from Diarrhoea.
Rakesh brings deep knowledge of consumer health and digital innovation in addition to his extensive commercial experience in a large global business.
During his 21 years at RB he served a variety of senior leadership management roles both in the UK and internationally.
His roles included: EVP, Category Development responsible for Global Marketing, R and D, Strategy, Senior Vice President and Regional Director, Northern Europe and Marketing Director, South Asia and VP Marketing, India
Rakesh was educated in India and holds an MBA in Business Administration and a Bachelors in Engineering (Hons)
Susan S. Kilsby joined the Board of NHS England in January 2021. She is the Chair of Fortune Brands Home and Security and is the Senior Independent Director and Chair of the Remuneration Committee at Diageo. She is also a non-executive director of Unilever and of BHP, where she chairs the Remuneration Committee, and is a member of The Takeover Panel in the UK. Mrs. Kilsby previously served as Chairman of Shire plc until its sale in January 2019 to Takeda and served on the boards of BBA Aviation, where she was Senior Independent Director and Remuneration Committee Chairman, Goldman Sachs International, Coca-Cola HBC AG, Keurig Green Mountain, where she chaired the Audit Committee, and L’Occitane SA, where she chaired the Remuneration Committee. From 2009 through 2014, Mrs Kilsby was as Senior Advisor at Credit Suisse where she focused on senior level coverage of global corporations.
Mrs. Kilsby joined The First Boston Corporation, a predecessor company of Credit Suisse, in 1980, working in the Mergers and Acquisitions Group in New York until 1992. She later moved to London as Head of Credit Suisse’s European Consumer, Retail and Services group in Investment Banking and from 2002 until 2007 was Head of Mergers and Acquisitions and Strategic Advisory for EMEA and later Chairman, prior to being named a Senior Advisor.
In 2007, Mrs. Kilsby was recognised by by both forbes.com and Financial News as one of the Top Ten Women in Finance and was again recognised by Financial News each year from 2008 through 2011. From 2010 to 2013 she was Chairman of the international region of C200, an organisation composed of leading women in business globally, and was a founding member of the Competitor Diversity Forum in London. Mrs. Kilsby is a Senior Visiting Fellow of Cass Business School in London and Chairman of the M and A Research Centre at Cass. She is a member of Wellesley College’s President’s Advisory Council and its Business Leadership Council, serves on the Board of Advisors the Gordon A Rich Foundation, the Advisory Board of the Diligent Institute and acts as a Senior Industry Advisor for Star Mountain Capital.
Mrs. Kilsby received her B.A. from Wellesley College in 1980 in Economics and an M.B.A. from the Yale School of Management in 1984. In 2016 she received a Doctor of Science (honoris causa) from The City University London.
Jeremy Townsend has been appointed, from 1 October 2020, as one of our non-executive directors and Chair of our Audit and Risk Assurance Committee for three years.
Jeremy has recently retired from his position of Chief Financial Officer of Rentokil Initial PLC after ten years with the Group. He was previously Group Finance Director of Mitchells and Butlers PLC and prior to that held various senior finance positions at J Sainsbury PLC. Jeremy started his career at Ernst and Young LLP and is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW). He is also a Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee of PZ Cussons PLC, a Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Audit Committee of Wm Morrisons Supermarkets PLC and is Trustee of parkrun Global.
Laura is a non-executive director of NHS England and Chair of NHS Digital, as well as Chair of the Talent, Remuneration and Management Committee.
Laura has over 20 years’ business experience having worked for several large businesses, including Marks and Spencer Group plc and Tesco PLC. She joined Marks and Spencer Group Plc in 2011 and for six years headed up their multi-channel e-commerce, responsible for stores and online. Prior to that she spent 14 years at Tesco plc in several senior roles. From 2012 to 2016 Laura was an advisor to the Government Digital Service.
Laura is currently a non-executive director of John Lewis Partnership Board and British Land Company plc and chair of their remuneration committee. She is a trustee of the Britten Pears Arts.
NHS England’s Executive Group are:
NHS Chief Executive
Sir Simon Stevens
Simon Stevens is Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NHS England, which leads the NHS’ work nationally to improve health and ensure high quality care for all. He is also accountable to Parliament for the NHS’ £120 billion of annual funding.
Simon joined the NHS through its Graduate Training Scheme in 1988. As a frontline NHS manager he subsequently led acute hospitals, mental health and community services, primary care and health commissioning in the North East of England, London and the South Coast. He also served seven years as the Prime Minister’s Health Adviser at 10 Downing Street, and as policy adviser to successive Health Secretaries at the Department of Health.
Simon also spent a decade working internationally at UnitedHealth Group, including as its Medicare CEO and as president of its global health division, leading health services in the United States, Europe, Brazil, India, China, Africa, and the Middle East.
Simon was born in Birmingham, and was educated at Balliol College, Oxford University; Strathclyde University, Glasgow; and Columbia University, New York where he was Harkness Fellow at the New York City Health Department. He is married with two school-age children, and volunteers as a director of the Commonwealth Fund, a leading international health charity. He has also been a trustee of the Kings Fund and the Nuffield Trust, visiting Professor at the London School of Economics and a local councillor for Brixton in South London. He is an honorary fellow of The Royal College of General Practitioners and holds an honorary doctorate from The University of Birmingham.
Amanda Pritchard is the NHS’ Chief Operating Officer (COO). The NHS chief operating officer post is directly accountable to the NHS chief executive Simon Stevens, and serves as a member of the combined NHS England/NHS Improvement national leadership team.
The COO oversees NHS operational performance and delivery, as well as implementation of the service transformation and patient care improvements set out in the NHS Long Term Plan. The COO is also accountable to the NHSI Board as NHS Improvement’s designated accountable officer with regulatory responsibility for Monitor.
Amanda was previously Chief Executive of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust from January 2016 to July 2019, having been Acting Chief Executive since October 2015. Prior to that she served as Chief Operating Officer at the trust for three and a half years.
Amanda joined Guy’s and St Thomas’ from Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust where she spent six years as Deputy Chief Executive having previously held a variety of senior strategic and operational management roles there, including Director of Strategy and Service Development. Amanda joined the NHS through its graduate management training scheme in 1997 and has held a variety of other NHS management positions since then. She has also served as health team leader in the Cabinet Office’s delivery unit.
National Medical Director
Professor Stephen H Powis
Stephen Powis is the National Medical Director of NHS England and Professor of Renal Medicine at University College London.
Previously he was Medical Director (and latterly Group Chief Medical Officer) of the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust from 2006 to 2018. Professor Powis was also a member of the governing body of Merton Clinical Commissioning Group for five years and a Director of Healthcare Services Laboratories LLP. He is a past Chairman of the Association of UK Universities (AUKUH) Medical Directors Group and has been a member of numerous national committees and working groups, including the Department of Health Strategic Education Funding Expert Group. He is a past non-executive director of the North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust, including a period of eight months as acting chairman.
He is a past chairman of the Joint Royal Colleges of Physicians Training Board (JRCPTB) Specialty Advisory Committee (SAC) for Renal Medicine and a former board member of Medical Education England. He was Director of Postgraduate Medical and Dental Education for UCLPartners from 2010-13.
He is a past treasurer and trustee of the British Transplantation Society and a former member of the UK Transplant Kidney Pancreas Advisory Group. He has also served as a member of the Renal Association Executive Committee. He was Editor of the journal Nephron Clinical Practice from 2003 to 2008. In 2017 he became the inaugural Editor-in-Chief of the journal BMJ Leader. He has been a trustee of several charities, including the Royal Free Charity and the Healthcare Management Trust.
Chief Nursing Officer, England
Ruth is the Chief Nursing Officer for England and an executive / national director at NHS England and NHS Improvement. She is also the national director responsible for infection prevention and control.
Ruth was appointed following her roles as Executive Director of Nursing at NHS Improvement, which commenced in April 2016, and Director of Nursing at Monitor, the healthcare sector regulator.
Prior to joining Monitor, she was Regional Chief Nurse and Nurse Director for the Midlands and East region of NHS England, where she championed the ‘Stop the Pressure’ campaign, which nearly halved the number of pressure ulcers in the region, improving care for patients, as well as delivering cost savings to the NHS.
Ruth is passionate about nurturing the next generation of NHS nursing, midwifery and AHP leaders, encouraging professional development opportunities and working across the health system to put in place the optimal cultural conditions for all NHS employees to thrive. This includes advocating for improved mental health awareness in the workplace, championing volunteer activity to support the frontline workforce and being a vocal supporter of the WRES agenda and increased diversity across the NHS.
Ruth began her career with a variety of nursing roles before becoming a theatre sister at Frimley Park Hospital. She was Acting Director of Nursing at Barnet Hospital before being appointed the substantive Director of Nursing and Deputy Chief Executive with Havering Primary Care Trust.
In October 2005, she became Chief Executive of The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King’s Lynn, a post she held for two years. She has also been Chief Executive of Mid-Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust.
Prior to joining the NHS Executive Group, Julian was Director General Nuclear, leading the Defence Nuclear Organisation at the Ministry of Defence.
Previously he was Director General of Public Spending and Finance at HM Treasury, and has held a number of other senior roles including with the UK Border Agency, and in the private sector with HSBC.
He is a qualified chartered accountant and member of Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA).
National Director: Strategy and Innovation
Ian Dodge joined NHS England in July 2014. His directorate leads the organisation’s work on: NHS strategy; sustainability and transformation; planning and implementing the Five Year Forward View; vanguards and the new care models programme; giving power to patients through personalisation and choice; commissioning strategy and development; and prioritising science and innovation.
Ian was Director of the NHS Group and Head of Policy Profession for the Department of Health. In 2005/06 Ian was the Prime Minister’s senior adviser on the NHS. Ian is currently an Adjunct Professor at the Institute of Global Health Innovation, Imperial College, London.
Senior Responsible Officer for NHS COVID-19 Vaccine Deployment and Chief Commercial Officer
Dr Emily Lawson
In November 2020, Emily was appointed Senior Responsible Officer for the NHS COVID-19 vaccine deployment programme. Emily leads the operational delivery of the COVID-19 vaccine across the NHS in England. Her role is to ensure the COVID-19 vaccine is rolled out in line with the vaccine prioritisation agenda set by the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) and in a way that ensures fair and equitable access to the COVID-19 vaccine.
Emily is also the Chief Commercial Officer for NHS England and NHS Improvement. In this role, Emily oversees procurement, estates and other commercial functions across the health service. In addition, she is responsible for corporate operations, primary care support services and provides executive leadership to the Commercial Income team, Accelerated Access Collaborative and the Innovation, Research and Life portfolio.
Emily joined NHS England as National Director for Transformation and Corporate Operations in November 2017 with responsibility for a range of enabling corporate operations, focusing on leading the transformation agenda for the organisation and the integration of NHS England and NHS Improvement.
A molecular geneticist by background, Emily has led a number of large-scale organisational change programmes. Before joining NHS England, Emily was Chief People Officer at Kingfisher plc where she was part of the international leadership team. Prior to that, she was Group HRD at Morrisons and spent 15 years at McKinsey, where she worked across a number of sectors leading transformation.
Emily is also Deputy Chair of the 30% Club, which aims to increase representation of women on UK plc boards, and to research and support greater diversity in the UK and global institutions.