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Director and Professor in the Centre for Public Policy and Health, Durham University

David has been Professor of Health Policy and Management at Durham University since 2000 where he is Director of the Centre for Public Policy and Health in the School of Medicine, Pharmacy and Health and a Wolfson Fellow in the Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing.

He is Deputy Director of Fuse, the UKCRC Centre for Translational Research in Public Health, ( and lead investigator for its complex systems research programme. He is a member of the executive group for the NIHR School for Public health Research. He undertakes research on aspects of public health policy and practice, including partnership working and health system transformation. He is Programme Chair for a range of national and local leadership programmes including those offered under the title Leading Transformation of Health and Wellbeing.

Among his previous posts, from 1989 to 1999, David was Professor of Health Policy and Management at the University of Leeds, and was Director of the Nuffield Institute for Health at Leeds for most of this time. Prior to that, he worked at the King's Fund Institute in London.

David is an Honorary Member of the Faculty of Public Health, and a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh. From 2004-2009, he was Chair of the UK Public Health Association.

Among his various responsibilities, David is a non-executive director of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) with particular responsibility for public health (since November 2009). He is a member of its Audit Committee. NICE was renamed the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence in April 2013. He is a member of the NIHR Health Services & Delivery Research Commissioning Board. Since June 2009 he has been an Appointed Governor of the South Tees NHS Hospitals Foundation Trust.

David holds an advisory position with the WHO Regional Office for Europe and contributed to the development of WHO’s new health strategy and policy framework, Health 2020, and accompanying European Action Plan for Strengthening Public Health Capacities and Services. Former advisory positions include the Marmot Commission on health inequalities in England (2010) and the House of Commons Health Committee and Communities and Local Government Committee.

David lectures and publishes widely on health policy and management topics. His most recent book commissioned by The Policy Press, The Health Debate, was published in September 2008 and is a critical review of current health policy in the UK. He is co-author of a review of the public health system in England, The Public Health System in England, published in March 2010 by The Policy Press. His forthcoming book, co-written with Neil Perkins, Partnership Working in Public Health, will be published by Policy Press in early 2014.

David enjoys mountain bike riding and hill walking with his two dogs. Living in Swaledale in the Yorkshire Dales is an ideal location for both activities. He also enjoys listening to most forms of jazz although his days of playing drums in a group in Edinburgh are sadly over.


  • –present
    Director and Professor in the Centre for Public Policy and Health, Durham University