Professor Dame Carol Black



Picture of Carol Black

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Picture of Carol Black


Professor Dame Carol Black DBE, FRCP, FMedSci was appointed Principal of Newnham in September 2012. She is a past-President of the Royal College of Physicians, of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, and of the British Lung Foundation, and has chaired the UK Health Honours Committee. The Centre she established at the Royal Free Hospital in London is internationally renowned for research and treatment of connective tissue diseases such as scleroderma.

Dame Carol was National Director for Health and Work from 2006 to 2012, and completed two independent reviews for the Government, the first in 2008 on the health of the UK working population, the second in 2011 (as co-chair) on sickness absence in Britain. The recommendations of the second report are now being put into place, with for example a national Fit for Work Service. She is Expert Adviser on Health and Work to the Department of Health and Public Health England, and in 2015 she was asked by the then Prime Minister, David Cameron, to undertake a third independent review, on ways of encouraging back into work adults with long-term but treatable conditions such as addiction to alcohol or drugs, or obesity.

She has long been involved in encouraging women to aspire to positions of leadership, in the professions, academia and public life. She is now a member of the University’s Equality and Diversity Committee, and of the organising committee for the annual Women of the World Festival in Cambridge. She chairs the board of Think Ahead, a not-for-profit organisation that encourages graduates into mental health social work. As Principal she regularly gives talks to schools, at home and abroad, often through such organisations as Inspiring the Future and Speakers for Schools, encouraging girls to apply for leading universities and aim for high-level careers fulfilling their potential.

In July 2016, Dame Carol stepped down after ten years as Chairman of the Nuffield Trust for health policy. She is a member of the Welsh Government’s Bevan Commission on health in Wales, Chair of the RSSB’s Health and Wellbeing Policy Group, a non-executive director of UKActive, and a member of PwC’s Health Industries Oversight Board. She is a Trustee of the National Portrait Gallery, The Work Foundation and of Uppingham School. In November 2013 she was named one of the 100 most powerful women in the UK in the BBC Woman’s Hour list.

Dame Carol was interviewed on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs in February 2016 and in May 2016 she gave a special Tanner Lecture in Tokyo – the first time the prestigious lecture series was held in Japan.

An independent review, written by Dame Carol, which analysed the impact on employment prospects for people who have battled drug or alcohol addiction, was published by the Government in December 2016.

Dame Carol was asked to recommend ways people addicted to to drugs and alcohol can be helped to find work. She also explored the effect of obesity on unemployment but found no clear link.

Read more about her report