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Lord Stevens of Birmingham Kt appointed King’s Chair of Council

Simon Stevens wears a blue suit with white shirt and blue tie. He is photographed in front of a grey backdrop.

Lord Simon Stevens has been appointed as the new Chair of the University’s Governing Council, succeeding Lord Geidt as he completes his third and final term. He will officially take up post on 1 January 2025 following a handover period this autumn.

Lord Stevens has had a distinguished career in public service in the UK and internationally. He is Chair of Cancer Research UK, having previously served for seven years as Chief Executive of NHS England. He is also an independent crossbench member of the House of Lords, and Chair of the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency. Earlier in his career he worked at 10 Downing Street and in Guyana, Malawi and the US. Educated at a state comprehensive school he is a graduate of Oxford and Strathclyde universities. He was also a Harkness Fellow at Columbia University, a Visiting Professor at LSE, and is an Honorary Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford.

“As King’s looks to its 200th Anniversary I’m delighted to be joining as Chair of Council, working alongside the Vice-Chancellor, Council, and the University’s exceptional staff and students. I’ve long admired King’s strengths in health and life sciences - having worked at Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospitals earlier in my career – with the University now being the largest educator of health professionals in Europe. But even more striking is the breadth of King’s outstanding scholarship, teaching and research expertise across multiple disciplines. At a time of pressure and uncertainty in UK higher education, these foundational strengths are of intrinsic academic importance, while also advancing King’s impressive track record of wider public impact.” – Lord Simon Stevens, incoming Chair of Council 

“It was heartening to receive the interest of a range of exceptional citizens who would like to contribute to King’s. And I, along with the Council are delighted that we were able to find a candidate of the stature and experience of Simon to take on this role. I thank the students, staff and the Panel members who contributed to this process.” – Clare Sumner, Chair of Governance and Nominations Committee

“King’s has always been fortunate to have the stewardship of a dedicated Council led by an exceptional Chair. And I am delighted that Simon has accepted this role. The next few years will be demanding for all universities, as for King’s. We could not have a person better experienced and accomplished to guide me and our Council through these challenging times.” – Professor Shitij Kapur, Vice-Chancellor & President

“I welcome the appointment of Simon Stevens as the next Chair of Council with enormous pleasure. Simon will bring a remarkable record of skill and competence to bear on the governance of the University, and from January will assume the stewardship of a Council of exceptional individuals. In my own tenure as Chair, I have witnessed with pride how King’s has worked together and successfully in confronting Covid and many other challenges. After the privilege of nearly nine years in post, I greatly look forward to the process of handing over to Simon in the coming months.” – Lord Christopher Geidt, Chair of Council