Professor Dame Jenny Harries is the first Chief Executive of the UK Health Security Agency – an executive agency of the Department of Health and Social Care established in October 2021. She leads the agency and is accountable for its strategy and operations, and the effective and efficient use of public funds, with a remit to protect the nation from external hazards to health.
After medical studies at Birmingham University, UK, she undertook specialist training in Public Health Medicine in Wales. She has wide experience of clinical and public health science and practice, as well as health service commissioning from work in the NHS and in local, regional, and national government. Having played central roles in the UK’s response to a number of significant public health incidents – including Ebola, Zika, MERS and the Novichok attacks in Salisbury – she was appointed Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England in July 2019 and served through the Covid-19 pandemic until taking up her present role. She is currently overseeing the UK’s response to monkeypox.
She has previously served on the UK’s Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), and the Expert Advisory Group on the NHS Constitution. Jenny has worked in policy, evaluation and clinical roles in many countries including Pakistan, Albania, India, Brazil and New Zealand.
In addition to a medical degree, she holds formal qualifications in pharmacology, business administration, health economics and strategic health service planning.