Gisela Abbam has been announced as the new chair of the General Pharmaceutical Council, taking over from Nigel Clarke.

Ms Abbam, who will take office on the 14 March 2022, was previously chair of the British Science Association. She has a particular interest in improving access to and equality in global health and development.

She has previously worked in collaboration with governments, the World Health Organization, the United Nations and other multilateral organisations to improve health outcomes for people across the world.

Ms Abbam is also the senior director of government affairs for EMEAI at PerkinElmer, a provider of end-to-end solutions that help scientists, researchers and clinicians better diagnose disease. She also serves on a number of advisory committees and sits on the board of Everywoman, an organisation dedicated to advancing women in business.

Her appointment comes after it was announced in July that Nigel Clarke would step down after eight years in the role of chair.

In the job advert, the GPhC said it was seeking an ‘inspirational’ chair with proven ability to chair a complex and high-profile organisation, and who could operate strategically.

Incoming chair of the GPhC, Gisela Abbam, said: ‘I am delighted and honoured to be appointed as the new chair of the GPhC and I look forward to leading the Council to achieve its vision of safe and effective pharmacy care at the heart of healthier communities.

‘Covid-19 highlighted the increased role of pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacies in providing clinical services. Effective standards and regulation can help pharmacy to provide more support to patients and the public at large. I look forward to working with Council, the Executive team and staff and collaborating with other organisations to improve the health of people using pharmacy services.’

Outgoing GPhC chair, Nigel Clarke, said: ‘I am very pleased to welcome Gisela to the GPhC on behalf of the Council. Gisela is joining the GPhC at an exciting time of major changes in both pharmacy and health regulation. I am sure her vast experience in healthcare will help the GPhC drive forward the aims set out in our Vision 2030, and bring a real focus on the difference we want to make for patients and the public.’