St George’s, University of London has appointed Professor Jenny Higham as its next Principal. Professor Higham is currently Vice Dean for Institutional Affairs and Director of Education in the Faculty of Medicine at Imperial College London. She will take up her new role at St George’s on 2 November and succeeds Professor Peter Kopelman, who is stepping down after almost eight years at the helm.

During her 18 years at Imperial’s Faculty of Medicine, Professor Higham has held a number of senior positions including Head of Undergraduate Medicine. She was instrumental in establishing the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine in Singapore, a joint Medical School by Imperial College London and Nanyang Technological University, of which she is Senior Vice Dean.

Professor Higham said of her appointment: “I am absolutely delighted to be taking up the leadership role at St George’s and privileged to be building on the successes of Peter Kopelman and his leadership team.

“St George’s is passionate about the education it delivers and to advancing science and healthcare through new discoveries. I share this dedication and bring a wide range of experiences to the role. I anticipate successfully working together both within the school and proactively engaging with its many partners.”

Professor Higham’s current research interest is in the use of advanced simulation in medical education. Previous studies have focused on reproductive medicine. She has 30 years’ experience as a doctor specialising in gynaecology and is currently a Consultant Gynaecologist at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.

During the past decade, Professor Higham has become engaged with academic medical policy, chairing the Education Sub-Committee of the Medical School Council and is also their Treasurer. She has considerable board level experience, representing Higher Education Institutes on the North West London Education and Training Board. She has been a Non-Executive Director of the West Middlesex NHS Trust since 2009 and also initiated, and became the inaugural President, of the Health Sciences Academy in 2014.

Mike Spyer, Chair of Council at St George’s, said: “Professor Higham is an exceptional candidate who brings enormous experience in leading medical education and a broad knowledge of the training of other healthcare professionals. St George’s is extremely proud to have appointed her as Principal.

“Her experience in developing the medical school in Singapore will be of great importance in furthering our global ambitions. Her proven dynamism and interest in the evaluation of educational initiatives will help to enhance the reputation of St George’s as a centre of educational excellence. Coming from one of the UK’s leading biomedical research institutions, Jenny is committed to strengthening the St George’s research base.”

Professor Kopelman, outgoing Principal at St George’s, said: “I am delighted that Professor Jenny Higham has been appointed to succeed me as Principal.

“I have known Jenny over many years and I have been greatly impressed by her commitment and contributions to higher education and the NHS. She brings with her to St George’s a wealth of experience that has engaged all health professions and merited national and international recognition.”