We are delighted to announce that the following international and national keynote speakers will be presenting at our conference on the 16th June:

Sir Michael Marmot

Sir Michael Marmot has been Professor of Epidemiology at University College London since 1985, and is Director of the UCL Institute of Health Equity. He is the author of The Health Gap: the challenge of an unequal world (Bloomsbury: 2015), and Status Syndrome (Bloomsbury: 2004).

Professor Marmot is the Advisor to the WHO Director-General, on social determinants of health, in the new WHO Division of Healthier Populations; Distinguished Visiting Professor at Chinese University of Hong Kong (2019-), and co-Director of the of the CUHK Institute of Health Equity. He is the recipient of the WHO Global Hero Award; the Harvard Lown Professorship (2014-2017); the Prince Mahidol Award for Public Health (2015), and 19 honorary doctorates.

Marmot has led research groups on health inequalities for nearly 50 years. He chaired the WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health, several WHO Regional Commissions, and reviews on tackling health inequality for governments in the UK. He served as President of the British Medical Association (BMA) in 2010-2011, and as President of the World Medical Association in 2015.  He is President of the British Lung Foundation.  He is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and Honorary Fellow of the American College of Epidemiology and of the Faculty of Public Health; an Honorary Fellow of the British Academy; and of the Royal Colleges of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Psychiatry, Paediatrics and Child Health, and General Practitioners. He is an elected member of the US National Academy of Medicine and of the Brazilian Academy of Medicine. 

He was a member of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution for six years and in 2000 he was knighted by Her Majesty The Queen, for services to epidemiology and the understanding of health inequalities.

Professor Jane South

Professor Jane South is Professor of Healthy Communities at Leeds Beckett University, UK and also works with the Office for Health Improvement & Disparities (formerly Public Health England) as their national adviser on communities.

Her research focuses on volunteering and how community life contributes to good health. Starting her professional life as a nurse, Jane later moved into health promotion research and from 2006-2013 was Director of the Centre for Health Promotion Research at Leeds Beckett. Past research includes systematic reviews of lay and peer interventions, qualitative research with Commonwealth Games volunteers and a review of community resilience measurement for WHO Regional Office for Europe.  Jane has been at the forefront of establishing a UK evidence base for asset-based approaches and authored the PHE and NHS England (2015) Guide to Community Centred Approaches for Health and Wellbeing.  During the pandemic, she has argued for building community resilience as part of public health efforts.  She became a Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health in 2015.

Professor Jennie Popay

Professor Jennie Popay is Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Public Health at Lancaster University.

Her research focuses on social determinants of health equity, the nature and salience of lay knowledge about health equity issues, community empowerment and the evaluation of place-based interventions/policies. She has just completed a longitudinal evaluation of the largest community empowerment programme ever implemented in England – the Big Local - and with colleague has produced an online resource to support place-based work on social and health inequalities https://neighbourhoodresilience.uk.   She is a member of the Lancashire and Cumbria Health Equity Commission. Previously she led a global network on social exclusion contributing to the Marmot Commission on the Social Determinants of Health which reported in 2008 and was involved in the Marmot review of Health Inequalities Strategy in England.  She is currently lead for public involvement in research in the English School for Public Health Research funded by the UK National Institute for Health Research.  She has extensive policy experience previously serving on Inaugural chair of the national charity, The People’s Health Trust and a member of The Welsh Bevan Commission (advising the Minister for Health), the English Commission of Patient and Public Involvement in Health, and the NHS Commission for Health Improvement.

Greg Straton

Greg Straton, Assistant Principal Officer, Health and Wellbeing Unit, Department of Health.

Before joining the Civil Service, he was the CEO of Treoir and previously the CEO of the Spiritan Asylum Services Initiative (SPIRASI). He was a member of the Working Group to review the Protection Process for asylum seekers which formulated the McMahon report. Greg holds an Honours Degree in Public and Development Management from the University of Stellenbosch in his native South Africa and recently completed an MSc in Healthcare Leadership at the Irish Management Institute.

Dr Helen McAvoy

Dr Helen McAvoy is the Director of Policy, Institute of Public Health.

Dr. Helen McAvoy graduated from Trinity College Dublin with a primary medical degree in 1997 and worked for several years in both hospital and general practice. She completed her MD in 2000 as part of the Masters in Health Promotion programme NUI Galway. She has worked on a number of government programmes relating to ageing and older people. She is now working as Director of Policy with the Institute of Public Health focusing on progressing the government’s health inequality agenda in Ireland and Northern Ireland. In this role, she has contributed to a number of reports and policy papers on inequalities in maternal and child health, fuel poverty, tobacco, alcohol and inequalities in the border region.