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Our leaders and structure

At any one time HEE supports more than 160,000 students and trainees whilst working closely with partners across the NHS locally, regionally and nationally on shared priorities.

We are led by our Chair and Chief Executive, alongside our directors and non-executive directors who form our board. The composition of our Board is made up of our Chair, Chief Executive, six Non-Executive Directors and four Executive Directors: In addition our Board also has non-voting members in attendance comprising of one Associate Non-Executive Director and seven Executive Directors.

We also have seven Regional Directors who play a major leadership role in the geographies they manage, making decisions on how best to assure and support performance in their region, as well as supporting local system transformation.

We have four Local Education and Training Boards (LETBs) that are responsible for the training and education of NHS staff, both clinical and non-clinical, within their area. Our LETBs, which are committees of HEE, are made up of representatives from local providers of NHS services and cover the whole of England.

Sir David Behan


Sir David Behan was appointed as Chair of Health Education England in December 2018. He provides strategic leadership and ensures proper governance for the Board.

He began his career as a social worker and progressed to be the first Chief Inspector of the Commission for Social Care Inspection in 2003. In 2006 he was appointed to the Department of Health as the Director General for Social Care, Local Government and Care Partnerships working on personalised care, carers learning and disability policy, mental health policy, the reform of social care funding and legislation.

In 2012 he was appointed to the role of Chief Executive of the Care Quality Commission where he led a team to conduct a fundamental review of the quality and safety regulation of health and care in England.

He was awarded a knighthood for services to health and care in the 2017 New Year's Honours list.

Dr Navina Evans CBE

Chief Executive

Dr Navina Evans joined HEE on 1 October 2020 from East London NHS Foundation Trust (ELFT) where she had been Chief Executive since 2016.  

She has over twenty years of clinical experience in psychiatry, medicine and paediatrics and previously held the positions of Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Operations. 

Navina has worked as the Clinical Director for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) at ELFT. She has also been involved in medical education at Barts and The London Medical School as Honorary Senior Lecturer, Associate Dean, and provided pastoral care to medical students. 

Navina has considerable experience of working in multidisciplinary roles crossing organisational boundaries. She has worked with local authorities, the voluntary sector, acute and community services, and in primary care. More recently she has taken an active role in the development of local integrated care systems. 

Navina is passionate about staff wellbeing and coproduction with patients, advocating for the best possible care and creating a culture of enjoying work for staff.   


Education, Quality, and Medical Director

Professor Wendy Reid

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Professor Wendy Reid trained at the Royal Free in London and was appointed a consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist there prior to moving into Postgraduate Medical Education as, firstly, an Associate and then Post-Graduate Dean in London.

Wendy has held several national roles including that of Clinical Advisor to the Department of Health on the European Working Time Directive, a contributor to the Temple Report, a former Vice President of RCOG, and former President of NAMPS.

Appointed as National Medical Director of Health Education England in 2013, Wendy subsequently took on the additional role of HEE’s Executive Director of Education & Quality.

Wendy now enjoys this multi-professional role and the opportunities it gives HEE to deliver a better healthcare workforce and health improvements to the patients and public of England through high quality education and training.


Calum Pallister

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Former Head of Finance for HEE’s North region, Calum took the position of Interim Director of Finance on 1 January 2018.

Innovation and Transformation

Patrick Mitchell

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Patrick Mitchell is HEE's Director of Innovation and Transformation. He joined HEE in 2013 moving from joint senior roles as Director of Medical and Dental Education at the Department of Health and Director of the Better Training Better Care programme at Medical Education England. Patrick chairs eIntegrity, a private enterprise jointly governed between HEE and the royal colleges, selling learning materials internationally and reinvesting the profits into NHS e-learning materials. Patrick is also a Board member of a large homeless charity covering the east midlands.

Previously Patrick was Chief Operating Officer/Deputy Chief Executive at St Georges Healthcare NHS Trust in south London, and Director for Operations at the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Trust. Patrick has also worked for PwC in their California practice.

Chief Nursing Officer

Professor Mark Radford

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Professor Radford is Chief Nursing Officer at HEE and Deputy Chief Nursing Officer for England. Mark has worked in perioperative, emergency and intensive care in the UK and Europe. He has previously been Chief Nurse of a University Teaching Hospital and Consultant Nurse in emergency and trauma care. Mark is Professor of Nursing at Birmingham City and Coventry Universities, and has published research on staffing, advanced practice, perioperative and trauma care.

People and Communications

Lee Whitehead

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Lee has worked in communications for thirty years including for trades unions and the private, public and voluntary sectors. He was a Director of top-ten consultancy Fishburn Hedges before joining NHS East of England as Director of Communications in 2007. He has been a Director of HEE since its creation and leads our communications, corporate services, governance, HR&OD and IT teams.


David Farrelly

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David Farrelly is HEE's Director of Performance and was formerly the organisation's Regional Director across Midlands and East.

Throughout his career, David has held the positions of Executive Director of Workforce and Strategy and Deputy Chief Executive at East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EMAS). Prior to this he was Executive Director of Human Resources at Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Trust and also worked in community services and mental health organisations in the east midlands and London areas.

David has an MA in employment strategy and an MSc in human resource leadership, as well as qualifications in management consultancy, coaching, mentoring and mediation.

Skills Development & Participation

Laura Roberts

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Laura Roberts is HEE's Director of Skills Development and Participation. She has worked for HEE since 2013 and was previously the organisation's Regional Director for the North West.

Previously, she held three Chief Executive roles at two Primary Care Trusts and Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust. Throughout her career, Laura has sought to combine a passion for health improvement with strong partnership working and visible leadership. She has wide range of NHS experience having worked at primary, community and secondary care and in high secure mental health services. She worked at the Department of Health and Social Care as Head of Provider Leadership Development, specialising in provider Board and Foundation Trust governor programmes. 


Jo Lenaghan

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Jo has recently returned to HEE as the Director of Strategy, following a secondment to the Strategic Programme Office of the NHS 5YFV where she worked closely with ALB CEOs and the wider NHS system to develop and support delivery of the Five Year Forward View (2014 – 2016).  Prior to this, Jo was Director of Strategy and Planning at Health Education England where she led on England’s first national Workforce Plan and HEE’s strategic framework, Framework 15.   Before joining Health Education England, she spent four years as Chief Advisor to Sir David Nicholson, Chief Executive of the NHS and over eight years as a Director in SHAs across the West Midlands.  This followed two years in the Department of Health in the Strategy Unit where she worked on the NHS Plan.  Before working in the NHS, Jo spent five years at a thinktank, the Institute for Public Policy Research, developing policy on diverse topics such as Patient and Public Involvement, genetics and Citizens’ Juries.

Strategic Relationships

Giles Denham

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Following fifteen years as a Director in the Civil Service, Giles Denham moved to become Director of Strategic Relationships at HEE in 2016.

Most recently in the Department of Health and Social Care, he headed the workforce directorate and the Medicines, Pharmacy & Industry Group. Giles was previously Director of Policy at the Health and Safety Executive and a member of its management board from 2005. He was seconded to the Foreign Office in 2004, to work as Director of Civil Affairs in the Coalition Provision Authority, Baghdad.

Between 2001 and 2003 Giles was the most senior policy official for children, older people and social care at the Department of Health. Earlier in his career, he spent five years as chief executive of a London postgraduate teaching hospital; he has also worked in the Treasury.

Workforce Planning and Intelligence

Rob Smith

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29 years in the NHS, initially in finance and service commissioning. In 2002 his first foray in the world of NHS workforce development, as Director of Finance, Commissioning, and Planning at NE London WDC.  In 2006 appointed as Director of System Strategy and Development at NHS London, where he led the transformation of their workforce planning and education commissioning system.  He joined HEE’s National Team in October 2012 as Head of Planning and became Interim Director of Strategy and Planning in March 2015.

Since 2017 he has held his present role of  HEE’s Workforce Planning and Intelligence Director

Regional Directors

Regional Director - East of England

Phil Carver

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Phil Carver is Regional Director, East of England with a portfolio that covers the multi professional workforce agenda including medical education and training, quality, integrated strategy and transformation.

Phil has worked in senior academic positions across several universities in England and Scotland, latterly in a Director role at the University of Sheffield. Prior to joining HEE in October 2017 as Local Director, Phil was previously Deputy Director within a Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust. Phil has published research on active ageing, health outcomes and functional capacity.

Regional Director - North east and Yorks

Mike Curtis

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Mike is the Regional Director in the North East and Yorkshire . He is a senior health system manager, with a finance specialism and experience in international health systems.  

Mike graduated from Leeds University in 1987 and joined the NHS as a specialist trainee in finance, qualifying as an accountant three years later.  Hands-on financial management roles followed in a major teaching hospital trust.  Mike’s experience then broadened, working across the UK in management consultancy, working for Price Waterhouse (now PWC) before taking his expertise overseas.  His consultancy experience included a year in Scotland reviewing workforce investment in the Scottish NHS.  Mike went on to work for the World Health Organisation (WHO) as an in-country adviser in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on the Department for International Development-supported health system reform programme. Mike also has country experience of Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Ghana and Uganda. Mike returned to the UK, joining the Department of Health and then Strategic Health Authorities, working in senior finance roles including the financing of education and training in the NHS. It is during this time he developed a specialist interest in the healthcare workforce challenge, recognising its importance in the sustainability and development of the NHS.

Mike became a Local Director for Health Education England in Yorkshire and the Humber 2014. In this role he has worked closely with emerging integrated care systems and partner universities, supporting them to develop workforce strategies to improve supply, redesign and transformation.  Mike took up post of Regional Director for Health Education England in the North East and Yorkshire in April 2019.  

Regional Director - North west

Chris Cutts

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Chris is Regional Director in the North West. He is a pharmacist and has had numerous clinical and education roles in the NHS and overseas. He was HEE Pharmacy Dean in the north from 2017 to 2019. Until July 2017, he was the Director of the Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education (CPPE). He was appointed with a personal chair at the University of Manchester in 2011, becoming Professor of Professional Development and Practice. In 2012 Chris took on the wider university role of Associate Dean for Social Responsibility for the Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences.

Regional Director - Midlands

Jane Johnson

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Jane Johnson is Regional Director in the Midlands and has worked within HEE for six years. She has over 30 years’ experience working in the NHS in acute, mental health, primary care, and ambulance service. As regional director Jane is responsible for delivering HEE’s mandate and business plan in the Midlands and is focussed on ensuring improvements in patient care, experience, and outcomes.

Jane is also part of the Midlands NHS England and NHS Improvement regional leadership team which enables closer alignment on supporting organisations and systems with workforce strategy, planning, education and training, and ensures a collaborative approach to delivering across the Midlands.

Regional Director - South east

Ruth Monger

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Ruth joined the NHS as an occupational therapist in 1986 and worked in older people’s care and mental health services. She moved into management, via the general management training scheme for clinical staff in the 1990s and subsequently managed mental health, community and learning disability services for both adults and children, including managing child adolescent and mental health services in Dorset and South London.

In 2002 Ruth was appointed as the workforce redesign lead at Central South Coast Cancer Network, a joint appointment with Hampshire and Isle of Wight Workforce Development Confederation. In 2009, she became the head of workforce planning for South Central Strategic Health Authority.

Ruth was involved in establishing the Local Education Training Boards for Wessex and Thames Valley and worked as the head of workforce strategy and planning for both until becoming local director for Wessex in November 2014, she subsequently became local director for Thames Valley in June 2018.

In April 2019 as a result of HEE's alignment to the new seven regions, Ruth has taken up a joint appointment as regional director in the south east alongside Philippa Spicer.

Regional Director - South west

Debi Reilly

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Debi assumed the role of Regional Director for the South West in December 2018 and is responsible for directing the entire medical, non-medical, and non-registered activity across the south west.

Debi started her career in North and East Devon Health Authority and has over 20 years’ experience of working at NHS board level, providing expert advice and system leadership across a diverse range of healthcare organisations.

Debi qualified as an accountant in 2005 and has held senior positions in financial management and strategic operations at the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust, managing local delivery plans, acute service contracts, driving improved performance, and the development of effective strategic planning frameworks. In 2007, she joined Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust as Associate Director of Performance and Contracting Management and held responsibility for the development, co-ordination and management of the trust's performance, contract management and information services.

In 2013, Debi joined HEE as Head of Performance working with the senior executive team and stakeholders to drive key objectives, deliver the HEE mandate priorities and design new operating models to achieve effective strategic and operational outcomes. Debi was appointed to the role of Associate Director of Workforce Planning and Intelligence in 2017, and since then has led several transformation and change programmes, driving an information-led culture to improve patient care.

Debi holds an MSc in Healthcare Leadership and is passionate in developing effective teams, investing in continued learning, and delivering seamless integrated services.

Regional Director - London

Lizzie Smith

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With almost 20 years’ experience of NHS management, Lizzie Smith was appointed as regional director for London in April 2019. Lizzie has worked for HEE since it’s establishment in 2012, most recently as local director across London.  As regional director she is responsible for leading all aspects of HEE’s work across London, supporting workforce supply and transformation across all health and care settings.  Prior to the establishment of HEE, Lizzie was Head of Education Planning and Market Development in the NHS London People and Organisational Development directorate. 

Before joining NHS London, Lizzie worked as Assistant Director of Training and Postgraduate Education at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust. Her NHS career began with Camden PCT where she worked in clinical governance, audit and primary care education programmes.

Regional Director - South east

Phillipa Spicer

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Philippa Spicer is the Regional Director for Kent, Surrey & Sussex. Philippa has been in the NHS since 1995 having previously worked in the private sector specialising in employee relations and TUPE. She has worked as a director in all aspects of the NHS including acute, community, mental health and learning disabilities services.

Philippa moved from providing services to commissioning,  as the Director of HR & OD for West Sussex PCT, supporting the organisation through world class commissioning.  In 2010 she joined the South East Coast Strategic Health Authority, where she was responsible for education, training and workforce assurance across the region. During this time she also chaired the regional social partnership forum and the HR directors forum for the region.

In March 2013 Philippa became managing director for Kent, Surrey & Sussex, and was appointed as the joint regional director for the South East in April 2019. Philippa is a fellow of the Chartered Institute Personnel and Development.

Non-executive directors (NED)

Professor Soraya Dhillon MBE

Close X Professor Soraya Dhillon is a former Clinical Academic with over 35 years experience in academia and clinical practice, and retired as Dean of School of Life and Medical Sciences at the University of Hertfordshire in November 2016. She held several Non-Executive posts in the NHS since 1991 and is the former Chairman of Luton and Dunstable Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (1999-2010), former member of the General Pharmaceutical Council and former Board Director for Eastern Academic Health Science Network.

Andrew Foster

Close X Andrew Foster was previously Chief Executive of the Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust. Prior to which he spent five years as NHS Director of HR (Workforce Director General) at the Department of Health and Social Care, with principal responsibility for implementing the workforce expansion and HR systems' modernisation set out in the NHS Plan. 

Professor Andrew George

Close X Professor Andrew George is an immunologist and has held senior roles at both Imperial College London, where he was Director of the Graduate School and the School of Professional Development, and Brunel University London where he was, until 2018, Deputy Vice Chancellor responsible for the education and international strategies of the university. Andrew is currently Chair of Imperial College Health Partners, Non-Executive Director of the Health Research Authority and Trustee of the Epilepsy Society. He was Chair of the UK’s National Research Ethics Advisors’ Panel (2009-2017) and on the Clinical Trials, Biologicals and Vaccines Expert Advisory Group for the Commission of Human Medicines/MHRA (2007-2017). 

Professor John Latham

Close X Professor John Latham is Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer of Coventry University Group and has held high-profile roles at a European, national and regional level promoting innovation, technology and economic development. He is an Extraordinary Professor in the area of enterprise and entrepreneurship at Stellenbosch University, South Africa, where in 2019 he additionally received an honorary doctorate for his services to UK higher education.

Dr Liz Mear

Close X Dr Liz Mear is currently the Managing Director for Leeds Academic Health Partnership (LAHP). She is currently an external director of the Northern Health Science Alliance and is also a Trustee of the Stroke Association.

Dr Harpreet Sood

Close X Dr Harpreet Sood works as an NHS GP in London and is a digital health expert with a wealth of experience at the interface of health care and digital technology. He is also co-founder and strategic advisor to the NHS Digital Academy. Dr Sood was previously the associate Chief Clinical Information Officer at NHS England and, prior to this, Senior Fellow to the CEO of NHS England. As the Associate CCIO, he was involved in developing and implementing NHS England's digital health and data strategy. Dr Sood’s new role will involve providing independent advice, support and scrutiny and working with senior HEE officials on key policy decisions. Dr Sood has led on national strategies and reviews within the NHS and collaborated with organisations internationally, including in the USA and Asia. He is a Visiting Senior Fellow at London School of Economics, is on the Advisory Committee for Health Informatics at the World Economic Forum and a Founding Fellow of the Faculty of Clinical Informatics.

Associate - Non-executive director

Sir Andrew Morris OBE

Close X Sir Andrew has over 40 years’ experience in NHS management and has held a range of senior NHS appointments. He was appointed General Manager of Frimley Park Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in 1989 and was the Chief Executive from 1991 to February 2018. Andrew is also a Non-Executive Director on the Board for NHS Improvement.