The Nuffield Council on Bioethics is pleased to announce the appointment of Danielle Hamm as its new Director. Danielle will take up the role in June, succeeding Hugh Whittall who is retiring after 14 years.

Danielle is currently Associate Director of Campaigns and Policy for the charity Rethink Mental Illness. She has previously worked as Director of Compassion in Dying and as Senior Policy Manager at the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority where she was Secretary of the Ethics and Law Advisory Committee, leading on policy development relating to sperm, egg and embryo donation. She has also been Ethics Advisor to the British Medical Association.

The Nuffield Council on Bioethics was established in 1991 and is co-funded by the Nuffield Foundation, Wellcome and the Medical Research Council. Its remit is to identify and examine ethical questions raised by developments in biological and medical research that are likely to concern the public interest, to inform policy and media debates and to make policy recommendations to Government. Independent of Government, the Council is widely recognised as the UK’s national bioethics advisory body and takes a leading role convening stakeholders to formulate recommendations on bioethical policy and practice in the UK and internationally. The Director leads the executive team that works with the Council and its Chair, Professor Dave Archard.

The Council’s landmark reports in recent years have included those on Research in global health emergencies; Genome editing in human reproduction; Non-invasive prenatal testing; and Children and clinical research. It has also published a series of shorter bioethics briefing notes, including a range of material in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Professor Dave Archard, Chair of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics said:

“I am delighted to welcome Danielle as the new Director of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics. She brings considerable experience to the role from successfully working both with a public body and in the charitable sector. She will offer excellent leadership to an experienced and committed executive team. I look forward to working with her and her colleagues in continuing to develop the Nuffield Council on Bioethics as the authoritative voice on bioethics both in the United Kingdom, and globally.”

Danielle Hamm said:

“I am absolutely delighted to be taking up the post of Director of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics. It is an honour to have the opportunity to build on the Council’s proud history as the UK’s national ethics body, and its reputation for rigour and independence developed under Hugh’s leadership.

“The pandemic has shone a light on how the pace of scientific development can raise urgent, global ethical questions that touch on everyone’s lives. With its global reach and mandate for informing policy making and public debate, never has the independent voice of the Council been more needed.”

Contact: Sophia Griffiths, Communications Officer, Nuffield Council on Bioethics,