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Headshot of Sarah Woolnough

Sarah Woolnough

Chief Executive CEO Office

Sarah is the Chief Executive of The King’s Fund, an independent think tank working to improve health and care across England. Previously, Sarah was the Chief Executive of Asthma + Lung UK, the national respiratory charity, having overseen the merger of the two leading lung health charities, where she developed a new strategy, brand and successful operating model. Sarah spent more than 15 years at Cancer Research UK in a range of senior policy and executive board roles, and is a previous non-executive and trustee of Bliss, the special care baby charity, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC), and the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI).

Sarah has a background in policy and influencing, with degrees in government and an MSc in comparative politics. In 2011, she was seconded to the Department of Health to write the National Cancer Strategy alongside Professor Sir Mike Richards, the National Cancer Director. Sarah has chaired the Healthy Air Coalition, a collective of leading health and environmental charities campaigning for cleaner air, is a previous co-chair of the National Respiratory Delivery Board, a member of the ABPI Patient Advisory Council, the NHS Accelerated Access Collaborative, and the Richmond Group of Charities. Sarah previously worked in parliament, the civil service, and for membership organisation the Sport and Recreation Alliance.

Sarah is a current trustee of MQ: Transforming Mental Health, and a member of Telstra Health UK’s Advisory Council.

Sarah is passionate about improving health and has led several national campaigns to deliver social change, including the plain packaging of tobacco and for bolder clean air laws. She has a particular interest in prevention, early diagnosis and community care, and the adoption and spread of innovation across the health and care system.