NICE appointed Professor Gillian Leng as its new chief executive. (Photo:

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) today named Professor Gillian Leng as its new chief executive.

She will take over on 1 April from Sir Andrew Dillon, who has led the organisation since its  establishment in 1999.

“NICE has a unique and unparalleled history and we wish to thank Andrew for his outstanding leadership over the last two decades,” said Tim Irish, interim chair of NICE.

“Looking ahead, NICE has a very exciting and ambitious future, and the Board is unanimously agreed that Gill has the leadership qualities to take us forward.”

Sir Andrew Dillon added: “She is an outstanding leader and has all the qualities needed to lead the organisation into its third decade. I am entirely confident that NICE will be safe and successful in her hands.”

Leng has been serving the organisation as deputy chief executive since 2007. She also holds the post of Director of Health and Social Care.

The appointment follows an open competition, NICE noted.

Leng commented: “Under Andrew’s leadership NICE has gained a formidable reputation both nationally and internationally as a world leader in guidance development. I am honoured and privileged to have been appointed as its second Chief Executive.

“I look forward to working with the Institute’s staff and stakeholders as we enter an exciting new chapter of innovative changes to deliver our portfolio of guidance into the hands of frontline staff in an easy and intuitive way.”

A visiting professor at King’s College London, Leng trained in medicine at University of Leeds and worked on clinical trials and epidemiological research in University of Edinburgh, and in London as a consultant in public health medicine.

At NICE, she was responsible for the initial set up and running of the clinical guidelines programme, for establishing the NICE implementation function, and for setting up NHS Evidence.

She also played an instrumental role in the NICE accreditation programme, guideline development in social care, and the NICE programmes of indicators and quality standards.

Leng was appointed a CBE in the 2011 Birthday Honours.

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