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Dame Sally became Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for England in March 2011, having held the post on an interim basis since June 2010. Previously Dame Sally held responsibility for Research and Development, she was the Chief Scientific Adviser (CSA) for the Department of Health from 2004-2016.
Dame Sally is independent advisor to the Government on medical matters, with particular responsibilities regarding Public Health. She provides professional leadership for Directors of Public Health. Sally was actively involved in NHS R&D from its establishment and founded the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).
Sally sits on the WHO Executive Board and has led delegations to WHO summits and forums since 2004. She advises many governments on health and policy, holding positions on a number of Boards and Groups, including the Singapore A Star International Advisory Group and University of Washington Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation Board.
As CMO, Dame Sally publishes independent annual reports. In March 2013, Dame Sally published her 2011 annual report on infectious diseases. The report focused on and brought to light the increasing threat of antimicrobial resistance, calling for national and international action to address the key areas of stewardship, monitoring and surveillance and antibiotic development. Since this publication, Dame Sally continues to advocate globally on AMR. She has spoken on AMR at numerous events, including in 2013, the World Health Assembly side event in May, the G8 Science Ministers’ meeting in June, the Global Health Security Initiative in Rome and she was an invited technical expert at meetings organised by WHO. She was chair of the 2013 AMR forum at the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) in Qatar and is chair of the Strategic and Technical Advisory Group on AMR to the WHO. She has also raised public awareness of the issue through publication of a Penguin book and a TED talk.
In 2014 Dame Sally was elected Fellow of the Royal Society and in 2015 a member of the National Academy of Medicine, USA.