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NIHR appoints new Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Published: 18 January 2021

Dr Esther Mukuka has joined the NIHR in a newly established role as Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. Esther will lead the ongoing development and implementation of the NIHR’s EDI strategy, helping to embed it across all of the organisation's activities and the wide range of people that NIHR brings together.

Esther is an EDI practitioner with experience leading diversity and inclusion in higher education, the health sector and the private sector. In her most recent role she was the Senior Manager for EDI at the University of Nottingham, where she was responsible for the development and implementation of the University’s diversity and inclusion strategy. Esther also has experience providing anti-racism training to healthcare leaders, research institutions and third sector organisations in the UK.

Dr Louise Wood, Director of Science, Research and Evidence at DHSC and co-lead of the NIHR, said: ‘We are delighted that Esther has joined NIHR in this new role created to lead our strategy for equality, diversity and inclusion. NIHR aims to be a diverse and inclusive funder, both in terms of the people who lead and run NIHR and the people who lead, deliver and are involved in our research. We have some way to go before our aspirations are achieved. I’m looking forward to working with Esther to expedite progress in delivering on our aims.”

The NIHR is working with its staff, award holders and partners to develop and deliver its EDI programme of work and to foster an inclusive environment. This is a particular area of focus for the NIHR as a whole and is being taken forward by the EDI Programme Board and a diverse range of advisors.

Esther said: ‘I am excited to be joining the NIHR at this time. The organisation has already made progress in embedding equality, diversity and inclusion into its ways of working, but I know there is more we can achieve. I am passionate about helping organisations make the step change to becoming more equitable and inclusive. As the NIHR has such a broad range of people it supports, involves and reaches, I think we have a great opportunity to make a real difference.”

Read further information about the NIHR’s work and aims for equality, diversity and inclusion. 

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