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Emily Lawson DBE

Dr Emily Lawson DBE

Chief Operating Officer, NHS England

Dr Emily Lawson DBE is Chief Operating Officer for NHS England and a key member of the Executive team.

Previously, she was Head of the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit and Director General of the Delivery Group. In this role, Emily led on delivery of the Prime Minister’s top priorities and improving public outcomes. She set up the Delivery Group as part of her personal mission to improve and professionalise delivery capability across government.

Emily previously worked at NHS England and Improvement where she led the operational delivery of the Covid-19 vaccine across England from its inception, returning temporarily to this role to lead the booster programme. She ensured the vaccine was rolled out in line with Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advice and ensuring fair and equitable access to maximise uptake across all communities. The national NHS Covid-19 vaccine programme was hugely successful preventing hundreds of thousands of hospitalisations and saving tens of thousands of lives.

Prior to leading the NHS vaccine programme, Emily was the Chief Commercial Officer, and previously the National Director for Transformation for NHS England and Improvement. As Chief Commercial Officer, Emily was responsible for procurement, estates, innovation, and other key commercial functions across the health service.

Before working in NHS England, Emily held multiple private sector roles including Chief People Officer at Kingfisher plc and Group HRD at Morrisons. She also spent 14 years at McKinsey working across several sectors leading transformation.

Emily has a career-long interest in ensuring women and under-represented groups have equal access to opportunities at work, leading McKinsey’s ‘Women Matter’ research for several years, being a founder member and previous Deputy Chair of the 30percent club, as well as acting as career advisor and coach for former colleagues across private and public sectors.

Emily was awarded a DBE in the New Year Honours List 2022 for services to the NHS, particularly for Covid-19.

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