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New head of Cambridge global health partnership

A former British diplomat with extensive overseas experience has taken over as Chair of Cambridge Global Health Partnerships (CGHP), a charity involving NHS staff in improving health internationally.

Master of St Edmund’s College at the University of Cambridge, Catherine Arnold OBE, previously worked for the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in Mongolia, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and Oman.

She has been a champion of human rights, and lead the successful UK campaign to secure the nomination to host the COP26 climate conference in 2021.

Catherine takes over from David Wherrett, director of workforce at Cambridge University Hospitals (CUH), who held the post for six years.

Catherine Arnold OBE head and shoulders
Catherine Arnold OBE

Catherine said: "I am honoured to be appointed to this role. Global health is more than a strapline; health affects every part of life. Raising levels of public and individual health and wellness around the world can transform lives, and make us all more secure.

Cambridge has an extraordinary role to play in shaping the future health of humanity, in partnership with people across globe. With my fellow committee members and charity trustees, the director and our many partners, members, volunteers and supporters, I am excited to help shape this vision – and thank David Wherrett for giving me such a hard act to follow.

Catherine Arnold OBE

Prior to joining St Edmunds in 2019 Catherine had a distinguished diplomatic career in the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.

As the UK’s Ambassador to Mongolia until February 2018, she championed stronger economic and political development and educational links with the UK, including work on public health issues.

She worked for the FCO in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and Oman and led on a range of foreign policy issues including human rights, the environment, and public affairs.

Before joining the FCO, Catherine was a journalist and travel writer in the Middle East. Her career started with a global management consulting firm.

CGHP, which is a linked charity to CUH’s dedicated charity, Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust, was established in 2007. It works with hospitals, healthcare organisations and governments across Africa, Asia and Latin America to provide specialist expertise, support shared learning and encourage sustainable change.

It is a two-way process involving NHS staff, especially from CUH, working with partners abroad, and staff from partner organisations sharing their experience and expertise with the UK. During the Covid pandemic many activities have continued using virtual platforms which have proven very effective and demonstrated that a hybrid model offers opportunities for many more people to benefit from involvement in CGHP’s programme.

This past year has shown more than ever that global health is local and affects us all.

More about CGHP can be found at and about ACT can be found at

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