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NHS chief is new Chair of ARU Board of Governors

Published: 4 September 2023 at 15:00

Clare Panniker

Influential former nurse Clare Panniker takes up new university governance role

Clare Panniker, regional director of the NHS in the East of England, has been appointed as the new Chair of the Board of Governors at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU).

A former nurse who has worked for the NHS for more than 30 years, Clare joined NHS East of England from Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust, where she was Chief Executive and had been since the Trust was formed in April 2020.  

Prior to this, Clare was Chief Executive of predecessor Trusts – Basildon and Thurrock, Mid Essex and Southend. Before moving to Essex, Clare was also CEO of North Middlesex University Hospital for nine years.

Clare said:

“I am delighted to be taking over as Chair of the Board of Governors. I have enjoyed a long association with ARU in my role in the NHS in Essex and have served on the Board since 2019.  During this time the university has gone from strength to strength with the opening of ARU Peterborough, the police apprenticeship programme, the first doctors graduating from the medical school, ground-breaking research developments and significant growth in student numbers.

“The ethos and strategy of the university are grounded in the public service values I hold dear, and I look forward to working with the Vice Chancellor and his team and my fellow governors in ensuring ARU continues to excel and contribute widely academically and economically, regionally and nationally.”


Clare, who also holds a business degree and has been a board member of ARU since 2019, replaces Keith Attwood, who steps down after three years as Chair. 

Clare added:

“I would like to thank Keith for his tremendous service and hard work. I’m very pleased to be taking over this important role with the university on such a strong footing.”


Keith said:

“The past three years as Chair of Governors at ARU have been both memorable and rewarding. In this short space of time, there has been the remarkable progress of ARU Peterborough, which welcomed its first students last September, the graduation of the first doctors from ARU’s School of Medicine this summer, and the hosting of the prestigious British Science Festival, attracting speakers and visitors from across the country. Alongside the proposed merger with Writtle University College and the university’s rising student numbers, ARU is in a very healthy position.”