Wellcome Trust names John-Arne Røttingen as chief executive

Norwegian public health official to succeed Sir Jeremy Farrar at biomedical science funder

十月 11, 2023
John-Arne Røttingen
John-Arne Røttingen

The Wellcome Trust has named John-Arne Røttingen, the Norwegian public health official, its next chief executive.

Dr Røttingen, a former chief executive of the Research Council of Norway, will join the biomedical science funder in January, succeeding Sir Jeremy Farrar, who stepped down earlier this year to become chief scientist at the World Health Organization.

He is currently ambassador for global health at Norway’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and has also served as chief executive of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness (CEPI), executive director of infection control and environmental health at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, and professor of health policy at the University of Oslo.

Dr Røttingen began his career researching cellular calcium signalling before training as a medical doctor and then specialising in infectious disease epidemiology and global health.

At Wellcome, he will oversee planned spending of £16 billion on science over the decade to 2032.

Julia Gillard, Wellcome’s chair, said Dr Røttingen would bring “a drive to maximise impact, an inclusive leadership style and an outstanding record in his research fields of epidemiology and global health”.

“Wellcome believes in the power of science to build a healthier future for everyone, and that science delivers the greatest change through collaborative action across society. John-Arne’s career and experience exemplify these beliefs. He has built a reputation as one of the world’s most effective and respected figures at the interface between science and advocacy at the highest global levels,” Ms Gillard said.

Dr Røttingen said he had “long admired” Wellcome’s “inspiring work to bring the potential of science and discovery to society to build a healthier future”.

“Philanthropy has a critical role to play in catalysing and complementing public and private research spend to improve health globally. I know well from my own experience the power of the support Wellcome gives science and scientists, backing basic research and ensuring transformative research achieves impact in the world,” he said.

“I’m honoured to have the opportunity to take forward Wellcome’s mission and, together with my colleagues and the talented global research community, bring science to bear on the most urgent health challenges we all face.”

Paul Schreier, Wellcome’s interim chief executive, will continue to lead the trust until Dr Røttingen’s arrival. Wellcome said Dr Schreier will then leave the trust following a transition period early in 2024 “to pursue other opportunities at chief executive level”. Dr Schreier will remain chair of the Wellcome Sanger Institute until further notice.




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