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Cancer Research UK’s new chief executive takes up post

The Cancer Research UK logo
by Cancer Research UK | News

12 November 2018

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Michelle Mitchell

Michelle Mitchell OBE, Cancer Research UK’s new CEO, begins her leadership of the charity today, 12 November 2018. 

She was appointed CEO in May this year, before Sir Harpal Kumar stood down from the role in the summer.

“It’s an honour for me to be appointed CEO of Cancer Research UK, and I’m delighted to be starting the role today.  My family, like many others, has been affected by cancer. It’s a disease that doesn’t discriminate. In fact, one in two people will be affected by cancer in their lifetime.” – Michelle Mitchell.

“The scale of the problem is large but the charity’s research is crucial to help improve survival and make the lives of those affected by the disease better. Without any government funding for the work we do, we need to make sure that people understand why their support is so important and how we can beat cancer together. With their help, and by building the strongest possible team and working collaboratively, we can achieve our ambition of 3 in 4 people surviving their cancer by 2034.”

Michelle is a senior voluntary sector leader who has transformed a number of not-for-profit organisations to achieve their purpose and global impact. She has a successful track record of delivering long term value, collaboration and innovation.

She is a member of the National Cancer Transformation Board and a member of the National Cancer Advisory Group.

Before joining Cancer Research UK, Michelle was CEO of the MS Society for five years and a founding member of the Progressive MS Alliance: a global scientific and research joint venture and launched the STOP MS £100m appeal.   Prior to that, she was Director General at Age UK, the UK’s largest older people’s charity where she worked for nearly a decade and was at the forefront of national debates on health, care and welfare.

Michelle has extensive non-executive experience, including as a NED at NHS England, which sets the priorities and direction for the NHS in England and previously as a Trustee at the King’s Fund, a leading health policy think-tank.

Michelle has a BA in Economics, an MA in Politics and Public Administration and an International Executive Diploma from INSEAD.

Michelle was awarded an OBE in 2015 for services to the charity sector.