New deputy chief medical officer appointed for England

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Dr Harries will take up the position on 15 July.

The Deputy Chief Medical Officers (DCMO) are senior public health leaders who support the Chief Medical Officer – the most senior adviser on health and medicine to the UK government.

Dr Harries joined Public Health England (PHE) in February 2013 as Regional Director for the South of England and is also PHE’s Deputy Medical Director. She leads PHE’s support to the specialised commissioning agenda, having gained direct commissioning experience when with Public Health Wales.

She has worked in clinical, policy, evaluation and research roles in many countries including New Zealand, Pakistan, India, Kenya and the Caribbean.

Dr Harries trained in Public Health in Wales and has held a number of formal public health appointments.

Dr Harries said:

I feel hugely privileged to be taking up the role of Deputy Chief Medical Officer and to be able to contribute at a national level to support health improvement in our population.

Although my training and earlier career experience has been in healthcare and health service commissioning and my recent expertise has been in strategic emergency response, I am excited to be bringing direct to national public health policy discussions the critical experiences I have had as a Chief Officer in 3 different local authorities.

I am very grateful for the opportunities and support I have received over the last 6 years in Public Health England and I look forward to working with new colleagues in DHSC and more widely.

Duncan Selbie, Chief Executive of PHE, said:

Jenny has been with PHE since our inception as the regional director for the South of England and also more recently as Deputy Medical Director. She has brought great expertise to a number of complex national emergencies from Ebola to the Wiltshire poisonings and has achieved so much in her work in the South of England. 

Jenny has also been a champion within PHE of diversity and gender balance and I know she will bring a wealth of experience, knowledge and enthusiasm to her new role.

Professor Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer, said:

I would like to congratulate Dr Jenny Harries on her appointment. Her many accomplishments speak for themselves and she will bring a wealth of experience and expertise to this role. I am looking forward to working closely with her.

Professor Gina Radford has been a fantastic Deputy Chief Medical Officer and I have thoroughly enjoyed working alongside her. I would like to thank her for her huge contribution to public health and her expert support.

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