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27.05.20

Sharmila Nebhrajani begins new position as NICE Chair

Following her appointment by the Health Secretary, Sharmila Nebhrajani OBE has officially taken up her position as the new Chair of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

With significant government, charitable and industry experience across a range of sectors, Ms Nebhrajani becomes the organisation’s third permanent chairperson, replacing Sir David Haslam who held the role from 2013 to 2019. Recently, NICE Vice-Chair Professor Tim Irish has acted as Interim Chair.

By background a biomedical scientist, Ms Nebhrajani read Physiological Sciences at the University of Oxford and began her business career as a management consultant.

Most recently, she was Chief Executive of Wilton Park, a not-for-profit agency of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which organises events on key issues including global health and international patient safety. Previously, Ms Nebhrajani also served as Chair of the Human Tissue Authority and currently holds a non-executive role at the Health Foundation.

She has previously also held senior roles at the Medical Research Council, the Association of Medical Research Charities and the BBC.

Ms Nebhrajani was made an OBE in 2014 for services to medical research.

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Professor Gillian Leng, NICE chief executive, said: “On behalf of the entire Board and staff at NICE, I am very pleased to welcome Sharmila to NICE.

“Her extensive experience in health and a wide range of other sectors, as well as her knowledge of NICE and the challenges it faces, will ensure that we’re in good hands as we move into the into the next exciting chapter of our development."

"I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Tim Irish for his exemplary leadership during his tenure as interim chairman, and in particular for his significant role in helping NICE meet the unprecedented challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought.”

Ms Nebhrajani added: “I am delighted to be joining NICE at what is a critical juncture for patients, for the health and care system and indeed the country, as we collectively respond to COVID-19 and its aftermath.

“Often one is asked to take on a job that it is interesting; and sometimes to take on a job that is important. Becoming the chairman of NICE at this time is that rare thing - a role that is both supremely important and acutely interesting.

“NICE has had an immensely successful past with a deserved international reputation for rigorous evidence-based analysis. I am honoured to be appointed as only the third chairman since its foundation over 20 years ago, and to take on the task of working with its excellent senior management team and staff to prepare the organisation for the years ahead."

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