Senior Visiting Fellow, University of Cambridge

Professor Kelly is Senior Visiting Fellow in the Department of Public Health and Primary Care at the Institute of Public Health at the University of Cambridge and a member of St John’s College, Cambridge. Between 2005 and 2014 he was the Director of the Centre for Public Health at the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) where he led the teams producing public health guidelines. While at NICE he appeared regularly on the Today Programme and BBC, ITV and Sky Television. He has advised the House of Commons Health Select Committee and been a witness before parliamentary committees on a number of occasions. He has chaired committees for MRC/ESRC, the Foods Standards Agency and recently visited Sydney to advise the Sax Institute there.

From 2005 to 2007 he directed the methodology work stream for the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Commission on the Social Determinants of Health. This body of work was the first time that a properly evidence based approach to dealing with health inequalities had been attempted by WHO. He has a continuing interest in health inequalities and is pursuing a programme of research in Cambridge on this topic.

He read Sociology and Economics at the University of York. He undertook post graduate training in Sociology at the University of Leicester before taking his PhD in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Dundee. He has held academic appointments at the Universities of Leicester, Dundee, Abertay, Greenwich, Glasgow, Manchester, Oxford and Sheffield, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and UCL as well as Cambridge. He had an academic career lasting twenty seven years before moving into the National Health Service to lead the Research Team at the Health Development Agency and then moving on to NICE.


  • –present
    Professor of Public Health, Department of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Cambridge


Hon FRCP, FRCP Edinburgh