Dr Jenny Harries, Chief Executive of the UK Health Security Agency received the title of Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire for her outstanding service to public health in the Queen’s New Year honours list.
Jonathan Turner, Head of Scientific and Technical Services was also awarded an MBE and Professor Kevin Fenton, London Regional Director of Public Health, Office for Health Improvement and Disparities was awarded a CBE.
Dr Harries has worked tirelessly to keep the nation safe during the COVID-19 pandemic with a focus on providing advice and support to the most vulnerable people in the country. Throughout the pandemic, she has provided health advice to the public at critical times in her role as Deputy Chief Medical Officer.
Dr Harries is now the Chief Executive of the newly formed UK Health Security Agency which brings together Public Health England and NHS Test and Trace, including the Joint Biosecurity Centre, with a remit to plan and prepare for current and future threats to our health. Dr Harries is uniquely placed to understand the national challenges the nation faces and the importance of working closely with local and regional colleagues to address them, particularly supporting the most vulnerable in our communities.
Dame Dr Jenny Harries said: “I am hugely honoured to receive this award. It is accepted on behalf of the countless brilliant and committed colleagues in clinical and scientific communities as well as those who provide such dedicated operational response through every health protection incident and emergency. It is they, who have inspired and supported me throughout my career and who continue to work tirelessly to make the UK a safer place, often largely out of sight of the public.
“In the response to COVID-19, and in so much else, the unprecedented speed and diligence of scientific endeavour has saved many thousands of lives and I hope that today’s award will encourage more people, especially women, to pursue careers in science and public service.”