Gisela Abbam has been appointed as the new chair of the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC).
Abbam will take up her role as chair on 14 March 2022, following the departure of the current chair, Nigel Clarke, who has now completed his statutory maximum eight years in office.
Abbam is currently senior director of government affairs for Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and India for science and healthcare technology manufacturer Perkin Elmer — a role which she has held since April 2021.
She has also held the position of commissioner for the National Preparedness Commission, a body which advises on national preparedness for major crises and incidents, since November 2020.
She was chair of the British Science Association (BSA), a position she held from January 2019 until January 2022.
Abbam has also held senior roles at GE Healthcare, having been head of government affairs and global executive director for healthcare, government affairs and policy, and has worked with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, the World Health Organization and the United Nations.
In 2019, Abbam was named ‘Black British business person of the year’ in the Black British Business Awards.
In a statement published alongside the announcement of her appointment on 16 February 2022, 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,” she said.
“I look forward to working with the council, executive team and staff, and collaborating with other organisations to improve the health of people using pharmacy services.”
On behalf of the council, Clarke said he was “very pleased to welcome Gisela to the GPhC”.
“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.”