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International Centenary Conference

About the speakers

Dr Frances Hughes

Dr Frances Hughes is Chief Executive of the International Council of Nurses, a federation of more than 130 national nurses associations.

Previously, Dr Hughes held the post of Chief Nurse and Midwifery Officer of Queensland, Australia. Prior to this, she was Chief Advisor (Nursing) to New Zealand’s Ministry of Health and consultant to the World Health Organization.

Dr Hughes has worked in Australia, South Pacific, UK, Canada and Asia.  She has also held the position of Commandant-Colonel of the Royal New Zealand Army Nursing Corps and was the first Professor of Nursing at the University of Auckland.

Dr Hughes has a strong background as a health clinician, manager and educator. She is the recipient of several honours, including a Harkness Fellowship in Health Care Policy from the Commonwealth Fund in New York. In 2005 she was made an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to mental health.

James Campbell

Dr James Campbell is Director of the Health Workforce Department at the World Health Organization (WHO) and Executive Director of the Global Health Workforce Alliance (GHWA).

The mission of the Health Workforce Department is to provide all people with equitable access to adequately trained health workers, while GHWA is a partnership of national governments, civil society, international agencies, finance institutions, researchers, educators and professional associations dedicated to address the global shortage of health workers.

Prior to joining WHO and GHWA, Dr Campbell was Director of the Instituto de Cooperación Social Integrare (ICS Integrare), a not-for-profit research institute in Barcelona, Spain.

Dr Campbell has worked as a specialist advisor on Human Resources for Health for global governments, United Nations agencies and philanthropic foundations, including the UK Department for International Development and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Matt King OBE

Matt King is a professional speaker and motivator. In 2004 he was paralysed from the neck down playing rugby league for London Broncos Academy. Despite his life-changing injuries, he has since gone on to enjoy phenomenal success in a diverse range of fields.

Matt secured a university place and graduated with a first-class law degree, after which he qualified as a solicitor and gained a job with a London law firm, specialising in personal injury claims.

He became the first paralysed athlete on a ventilator to ski and the first to complete a marathon, in New York, steering his motorised wheelchair through the streets with his chin.

Matt embarked on a mission to instill hope in others with similar disabilities, becoming an adviser and trustee of several charities, and a renowned motivational speaker.

He has worked with professional athletes, private businesses, NHS managerial and clinical staff, and schools. In 2012, aged just 25, he was awarded an OBE.

Maureen Bisognano

Maureen Bisognano is President Emerita and Senior Fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). She previously served as IHI’s President and CEO from 2010 to 2015. 

A registered nurse, Ms. Bisognano advises health care leaders around the world and is a passionate advocate for quality improvement and change.

She is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, an Instructor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and a Research Associate in the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Division of Social Medicine and Health Inequalities.

Ms. Bisognano currently serves on the boards of The Commonwealth Fund, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value, and on the Advisory Board of County Health Rankings and Roadmaps.

She began her health care career in 1973 as a staff nurse at Quincy Hospital in Massachusetts. Between 1981 and 1987 she was Director of Nursing, Director of Patient Services and Chief Operating Officer.

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka is United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women. UN Women was established in 2010 to accelerate UN goals on gender equality and the empowerment of women.


Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka has worked in government, the private sector and civil society and was actively involved in the struggle to end apartheid. From 2005 to 2008, she served as Deputy President of South Africa, overseeing programs to combat poverty, with a particular focus on women. 

Prior to this, Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka served as Minister of Minerals and Energy, Deputy Minister in the Department of Trade and Industry and was a Member of Parliament in South Africa’s first democratic government. 

Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka began her career as a teacher and gained international experience as a coordinator at the World YWCA in Geneva, where she established a global program for young women.

Dr Susan Hamer

Dr Susan Hamer is Organisational and Workforce Development Director and lead nurse for the NIHR Clinical Research Network, the research delivery arm of the NHS. Dr Hamer is responsible for the patient and public engagement with the network.

She is also the Chair of the National Nursing Informatics Strategic Taskforce which supports the development of informatics capability across the nurse workforce.

Dr Hamer is passionate about using data, information and technology to enhance practice and support innovation in patient-led services.

Her clinical background is predominately in the community and she has worked in the fields of leadership and practice development. She has a doctorate in adult education and is a Fellow of the Queens Nursing Institute. In 2013 she was named one of the HSJ’s Inspirational Women.