BBC social affairs editor Niall Dickson appointed Chief Executive at The King's Fund

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BBC Social Affairs Editor Niall Dickson is to be the new Chief Executive of The King's Fund, the independent health charity announced today. He will take over from Rabbi Julia Neuberger, who has been in post for six years, on 1 January 2004.

The King's Fund Chairman Sir Graham Hart said:

'We are delighted that Niall Dickson will be joining The King's Fund in the new year. He is very widely respected for his understanding of health and social care issues, his integrity and his ability to communicate. Julia Neuberger will be a hard act to follow, but Niall will be a worthy successor.'

Rabbi Julia Neuberger added: 'Niall's appointment is a real coup – his talents, knowledge and networks will be huge assets to The King's Fund.'

Commenting on his appointment, Niall Dickson said:

'Leading The King's Fund has to be one of the best jobs in health, combining the development of policy, people and services as no other organisation does. I would like to pay tribute to Julia for the huge achievements of The King's Fund in recent years, including steering the organisation through some challenging times. I'm really looking forward to taking on the role and working with the committed and able team at The King's Fund at a particularly interesting time in health and health care.'

Niall has been at the BBC since 1988, starting as a health correspondent for BBC Radio News. He moved on to be Chief Social Affairs Correspondent for BBC News and, in 1995, Social Affairs Editor, now responsible for a team of over 80 producers and correspondents as well as numerous radio and television documentaries. Alongside his work at the BBC, Niall has worked with a range of health-related organisations, undertaking management training, chairing major conferences and publishing articles.

Before the BBC, Niall worked for the publishers Macmillan, including five years as Editor of Nursing Times, establishing the title as the best selling nursing weekly and leading its expansion into conferences and distance learning. In the earlier part of his career, Niall was Head of Publishing for Age Concern England.

Notes to editors

The King's Fund is an independent charitable foundation working for better health, especially in London. It carries out research, policy analysis and development activities, working on its own, in partnerships, and through grants. It also acts as a major resource for people working in health, such as providing conference facilities and information services.

For further information, please contact Helen Evans or Michelle Dixon in the public affairs office on 020 7307 2632/2583 or out of hours on 07774 218439.