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Genomics England announces appointment of Dr Rich Scott as Interim Chief Executive Officer

We’re delighted to announce that Dr Rich Scott has been appointed Interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Genomics England, following the departure of Chris Wigley, with effect from 31 October.

Rich joined the organisation in 2015 and has been Chief Medical Officer since 2021 and is currently Acting CEO. He is a Consultant and Honorary Associate Professor in Clinical Genetics at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and the UCL Institute of Child Health where his practice focuses on diagnosing children with rare multisystem disorders.

In his role as Chief Medical Officer, Rich has played a pivotal role in Genomics England’s work to support the launch of the NHS Genomic Medicine Service - the world’s first Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) diagnostics service at national scale. With his experience in rare disease diagnosis, Rich has also led Genomics England’s Newborn Genomes Programme, one of 3 new initiatives announced last year to support our mission to create a world where everyone can benefit from genomic medicine.

Commenting on Rich’s appointment, Baroness Nicola Blackwood, Chair of Genomics England said:

“I would like to take this opportunity to welcome Rich to the role of Interim CEO. Throughout his time at Genomics England, he has demonstrated his passion and dedication to supporting the development of new genomic technologies for the benefit of patients. I know he will continue to do an outstanding job, and I look forward to working with him in his new role.”

Speaking about Rich’s appointment, Jillian Hastings Ward, Chair of the Participant Panel, an independent group that advises the Genomics England Board and actively engages in decision-making across other committees and boards, said:

“We are delighted that Rich Scott will be stepping into this role. In all his years at Genomics England so far, he has been a consistent friend and wise counsel to the patient and participant communities we serve together, and we very much look forward to further developing this constructive relationship.

Commenting on his appointment, Dr Rich Scott, said:

“As I take on the role of Interim CEO, I want to start by acknowledging the incredible work Chris Wigley did over the past four years to guide Genomics England into the strong position we are in today. He has laid the foundations for a very bright future. I am looking forward to continuing that work at Genomics England over the coming months, working with our participants and partners in the NHS, industry and academia, harnessing genomic innovation to improve health outcomes.”

As we welcome Rich into his new role, we also want to express our thanks to Chris Wigley for his outstanding leadership since he joined Genomics England in 2019.

Baroness Nicola Blackwood, Chair of Genomics England said: “On behalf of the whole Board, I would like to thank Chris for his energy and dedication in leading Genomics England over the last four years. We’re incredibly proud of what Genomics England has achieved in that time, and very grateful to our participants, colleagues and partners who have provided such valuable support.”

Jillian Hastings Ward, Chair of the Participant Panel said:

“Chris Wigley has been an active and enthusiastic champion of participant interests during his time with Genomics England and we wish him the very best of luck with his next steps."

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