1990s


Dr Jennifer Dixon »   Baroness Julia Neuberger »   Chris Barnham »   Robert Barr »   Judy Hargadon »   Sir David Bell »   Terry Kemple »   Simon Stevens »   Liz Sayce »   Aminatta Forna »  

 

Dr Jennifer Dixon (HF 90-91) CBE, always had three magnetic poles: science, arts and politics. She made herself pursue science (long story) but after five years of medical school and 96 hour working weeks as a junior hospital doctor, by her late 20’s the other two poles began to take over. Jennifer applied a fellowship soon after, aiming to study why such an intelligent and wealthy society in the US was unable to provide decent health care for 17 million of its citizens? Based in New York in part at Montefiore Medical Center and Department of Health Policy at New York University, she studied why federal reform to improve access to care was blocked and what some states had done to bypass this. The answers included age-old debates about the role of federal government, layered on a culture where the ‘social justice thermostat’ was just set too cold (for European tastes).  What wasn’t too cold though was the energising informal can-do witty working environment, as opposed to the cardboard hierarchy she was more familiar with in Britain. Back home Jennifer went on to pursue a career in policy analysis, a PhD, working at the King’s Fund, at DH as policy advisor to the CE of the NHS, and she became the CE of the Nuffield Trust and now the Health Foundation. The latter now co-funds the current Harkness fellowship programme.
Published on: 20th July 2018

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Baroness Julia Neuberger (HF 1991-92) was no stranger to challenge when she applied to be a Harkness Fellow for the 1991 intake. Prevented from studying Assyriology at Cambridge (she was refused entry to Turkey, because she was British, and to Iraq, because she was Jewish), she studied Hebrew and was ordained as a rabbi aged 27, the second female rabbi in the UK, but the first to be responsible for a synagogue which she ran until shortly before her fellowship. Immediately before her Fellowship, she spent 2 years at the King’s Fund Institute, looking at Research Ethics Committees (IRBs) in the UK, and published a report which led to limited government and medical royal college action to embed review in law and guidance. During her fellowship she studied healthcare ethics at Harvard, looking at values education for young healthcare professionals, hoping to bring best practice back to the UK. On her return Julia became Chair of Camden and Islington Community Health Services NHS Trust (1992 to 1997) and Chief Executive of the King’s Fund from (1997 – 2004). She was Chancellor of the University of Ulster from 1994–2000, and has been involved in a large number of voluntary and philanthropic roles. Julia broadcasts regularly on Pause for Thought, on BBC Radio 2, and has published widely on matters of ethics, morality and caring for older people and the dying. She chaired the independent review of the Liverpool Care Pathway (for dying patients) and is at present vice chair of the independent review of the Mental Health Act. She was awarded a DBE in 2003 and sits in the House of Lords as an independent. She the Senior Rabbi at the West London Synagogue.
Published on: 25th May 2018

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Chris Barnham (1992-93) applied for the Harkness fellowship at Northwestern University, Illinois, to further his understanding of effective schooling in inner cities.  A lifelong advocate of education, based on experiences with great teachers in his own life, he became a teacher after his degree at St John’s, Cambridge and PGCE at Goldsmiths.  He subsequently joined the Department of Education in 1987, and in his 25-year career there he covered a wide range of policy areas from Early Years, higher education strategy, offender learning and skills and welfare to work, the relationship between education and employment. He spent two years seconded to Southwark Council (2000 – 02), where he devised a new multi-disciplinary approach to youth crime to meet the challenge presented by the November 2000 killing of Damilola Taylor. Having left the civil service in 2013, he was elected in 2014 to Lewisham Council in south London and is now Cabinet member for Children’s Services. In his spare time, Chris is a writer; he has published a variety of fiction short stories, and in 2018 published a well-received science fiction novel, Fifty-One. He also runs a policy and strategy consultancy, specialising in creative development and delivery in education, employment and skills.  
Published on: 13th November 2018

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Robert Barr (1992-93) had recently completed his PhD on Social Information Systems, as he applied for the Harkness fellowship.  An urban and social geographer, his academic interests are directly related to the lives of people living in urban areas. For his fellowship he was based at the National Centre for Geographic Information and Analysis at the University of California, Santa Barbara. As an ‘applied’ geographer, he was keen to show how geographical information systems could be used to illuminate social issues. His work showed how much inequality there was, and remains, in the US and on his return he found himself more involved in social issues. He joined one of the Social Exclusion Unit policy action teams and was involved in research that led to the correction of 2001 census, which netted Manchester over £120m in additional revenue support grant.  While continuing as a part-time academic, Bob spun his university lab out as a company which helped produce a National Address Register for the 2011 census that avoided the problems of 2001.  Since 2006 Bob has served as a Liberal Democrat councillor on Warrington Borough Council and currently leads the opposition with 12 councillors. Bob has served on numerous advisory panels, has held office in the Association for Geographic Information and served on the boards of local Housing Associations. He has won a number of awards for his work and, in 2008, was awarded an OBE for services to Geography.
Published on: 13th November 2018

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Judy Hargadon (HF 1992-93) OBE was a CEO of a Health Care Trust when she was awarded her Harkness Fellowship, based in Boston, with the Harvard School of Public Health. Interested in our overly hospital focused health care system, Judy studied lessons that the UK could learn from the US about reducing length of stay. Her research into innovative practice took her to Minnesota, Miami, New York, Seattle and Los Angeles – as well as to many health care establishments in Boston. On her return to England, Judy championed and led change projects initially in local neighbourhood care for primary and community services, then later for primary care across London, for complex and sensitive commissioning decisions, and later still the effective use of workforce in the NHS – the Changing Workforce programme. Her last full time role saw her sorting out school meals across England, following the Jamie Oliver expose. Judy was awarded an OBE for services to children’s welfare in 2011. Judy came across the first Take Our Daughters to Work Day when she was a fellow. She and her husband brought it back to the UK and she chaired the trustees for a number of years. She is a member of Council (the governing body) of the University of Exeter, NED for Restorative Solutions CIC, Trustee of the Harkness Fellows Association and volunteers with charities that support struggling families.
Published on: 25th May 2018

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Sir David Bell (HF 1993-94) was Assistant Director of Education at Newcastle City Council prior to embarking on his Harkness Fellowship year, later returning to Newcastle to become Director of Education and Libraries. David’s interest in education policy making, and a general desire to spend time understanding more about the United States, led him to apply for a ‘Harkness’. He was based in Atlanta, Georgia and worked at Georgia State University, with some time based in the Office of the State Superintendent of Schools. Vice-Chancellor of the University of Reading since 1 January 2012, David has held a number of major posts across the English education system. He was Permanent Secretary at the Department for Education for six years. Prior to that, he was Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Schools in England for nearly four years. David began his career as a primary school teacher and later became a head teacher. Between 1 August 2017 and 31 July 2019, David is Vice President England and Northern Ireland for Universities UK (UUK) as well as a member of the UUK board. In addition, David is a board member of Reading UK CIC, a trustee and advisory board member of the Higher Education Policy Institute, a governor of the Royal Shakespeare Company and a non-executive director of the Law Commission. David was made a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath in 2011.
Published on: 25th May 2018

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Terry Kemple (HF 1993-94) had been a full time NHS general practitioner In Bristol for 10 years when he applied for a Harkness Fellowship. A friend who worked at Cumberland Lodge where Harkness fellows held conferences suggested he applied as it fitted with his interests in challenging complacencies, making improvements and valuing sabbaticals. He was based at Harvard in 1993/94 and studied ‘How to improve the performance of physicians’ in particular the recertification of doctors. On his return he continued in full time general practice and had leading roles in teaching, training, research, management, appraisals, building premises, starting a GP Out-of-Hours cooperative, gaining Fellowship of RCGP by assessment, achieving the RCGP Quality Practice Award three times, starting a multi-practice federation, and starting the Green Impact for Health in General Practice project. In his final sabbatical, he explored ‘how to find and spread best practice faster’. His suggestion was ‘find yourself a better network’. He was elected president of Royal College of General Practitioners 2015-17, and was an unsuccessful candidate in the President of the Royal College of Physicians election in 2018. He continues to lead the RCGP’s green/sustainability programme including the Green Impact for health project.
Published on: 25th May 2018

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Simon Stevens (HF 1994-95) is CEO of NHS England, which leads the NHS’ work nationally to improve health and ensure high quality care for all. He is accountable to Parliament for over £100 billion of annual Health Service funding. Simon joined the NHS through its Graduate Training Scheme in 1988. As a frontline NHS manager he subsequently led acute hospitals, mental health and community services, primary care and health commissioning in the North East of England, London and the South Coast. He also served seven years as the Prime Minister’s Health Adviser at 10 Downing Street, and as policy adviser to successive Health Secretaries at the Department of Health. Simon also spent a decade working internationally at UnitedHealth Group, including as its Medicare CEO and as president of its global health division, leading health services in the United States, Europe, Brazil, India, China, Africa, and the Middle East. Simon was a Harkness Fellow at Columbia University, New York and working at the New York City Health Department. He is the first Harness Fellow to subsequently become a director of the Commonwealth Fund, on whose board he now sits. Simon was born in Birmingham, and was educated at Balliol College, Oxford University and Strathclyde University, Glasgow. He is married with two school-age children, and volunteers as a director of the Commonwealth Fund, a leading international health charity. He has also been a trustee of the Kings Fund and the Nuffield Trust and Visiting Professor at the London School of Economics.
Published on: 25th May 2018

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Liz Sayce (HF 1995-96) OBE was Policy Director of Mind in the 1990s, when Britain’s first disability rights law was about to come into force. She wanted to learn from the implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, passed 5 years earlier, particularly in relation to breaking down discrimination faced by people living with mental health problems – at that time more of a taboo subject than it is today. Based at the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law in Washington DC, and with links to the University of Virginia, Liz learnt from advocates, academics and experts. The Fellowship resulted in a book – from Psychiatric Patient to Citizen (Palgrave Macmillan, updated 2016). On returning, Liz was a member of the Ministerial Disability Rights Task Force (1997-9), which shaped policy and law for the next decade. Her roles included Director of Policy and Communications at the new Disability Rights Commission (2000-7) and Chief Executive of Disability Rights UK (and one of its legacy organisations) (2007-17). Other roles have included Commissioner, UK Commission for Employment and Skills; Non-Executive Board Member, Care Quality Commission; Trustee of Stonewall; and Member of the Social Security Advisory Committee and Healthwatch England Committee. She led an independent review for Government on employment support for disabled people in 2011. She was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Kent in 2014.
Published on: 25th May 2018

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Aminatta Forna (HF 1996-97) OBE was a Harkness Fellow at Berkeley, California. Before she went to the States she was a current affairs and arts reporter at the BBC, where she had worked since 1989. She rejoined the BBC on her return to the UK to host a programme on European politics. She left in 1999 to write full time. Aminatta was born in Scotland, raised in Sierra Leone and Great Britain and spent periods of her childhood in Iran, Thailand and Zambia. She is the award-winning author of the novels The Hired Man, The Memory of Love and the memoir, The Devil that Danced on the Water. Her most recent novel, Happiness, was published in 2018. She has a world-wide following and her books have been translated into over twenty languages. In 2003 Aminatta established the Rogbonko Project to build a school in a village in Sierra Leone. The charity has also run a number of projects in the spheres of adult education, sanitation and maternal health. Aminatta is the recipient of a Windham Campbell Award from Yale University, has won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize Best Book Award 2011, the Liberaturpreis in Germany and the Aidoo-Snyder Book Prize. She has been a finalist for the Neustadt Prize for Literature, the Orange Prize for Fiction, the IMPAC Award and the Warwick Prize. She was awarded the OBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours in 2017. She is currently Lannan Visiting Chair of Poetics at Georgetown University and Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University.
Published on: 25th May 2018

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