Professor Christopher Whitty, who has been a member of Sightsavers’ board of trustees since 2017, has been appointed chief medical officer for England and the UK government’s chief medical adviser. He takes up the post in October.
Prof Whitty is an epidemiologist and physician at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and an expert in international public health.
UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Prof Whitty will make an excellent chief medical officer, bringing his extensive clinical experience and a passion for keeping the nation healthy. I can think of no better person to lead the fight against infectious diseases and public health threats, and lead the medical profession to continue keeping us as healthy as possible.”
Prof Whitty said: “It is a huge honour to be given the opportunity to be able to support colleagues in public health, the NHS and social care around the country to improve the health of the nation.”
Sightsavers Chairman Martin Dinham added: “We are very fortunate to have Chris Whitty as a member of the Sightsavers board. He has an uncanny ability to home in on the issues that really matter, drawing on his unparalleled experience of public health and research. His insights have been invaluable to us. His appointment is a well-deserved recognition of his many and extraordinary talents.”
Prof Whitty also served as the interim chief scientific advisor to the British government between 2017 and 2018.