Health secretary Patricia Hewitt has announced that Anne Watts will take up the post of chair of the Appointments Commission from 1 April 2007.
She replaces Sir William Wells when his current term of office comes to an end. From 1 January 2007, she will act as non-executive director of the commission until taking up the post formally.
The Appointments Commission specialises in the recruitment, training and appraisal of people for board level public appointments to NHS bodies, ministerial advisory bodies and other independent governmental organisations.
Hewitt said: “I am delighted that [Watts] is taking up the post of chair. She has more than 20 years’ experience of the public and private sectors that will be invaluable in helping to appoint people who will lead a modern, patient-centred NHS.”
Watts is currently chair of the Independent Panel on race equality for the NHS and for the past two years has been employer’s representative on the steering group for the new Commission for Equality and Human Rights.
She has also worked in executive roles relating to diversity and workforce for HSBC and Natwest Bank.
Watts will be paid £30,000 a year for a time commitment of two days a week. For the non-executive post, she will be paid £7,500 for 2.5 days per month.