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Introducing MQ's new Chief Executive, Lea Milligan

We're delighted to announce that Lea Milligan has been appointed as MQ's new Chief Executive. He will take up the post at the end of June.

Lea joins MQ after serving for four years as Chief Executive of Mercy Ships UK, an international NGO delivering surgery, medical capacity building and infrastructure development across West Africa.

At Mercy Ships UK he has overseen multi-million-pound fundraising and grants programmes, including launching the Global Surgical Evaluation Centre in partnership with Harvard University; a public fundraising campaign raising £2.6M in partnership with the Department for International Development’s UK Aid Match, and the publication of a BMJ Surgical supplement in support of the Lancet Commission’s findings on the Global Surgical Crisis.

Prior to Mercy Ships UK, Lea held a range of senior roles across the charity sector including in community and young offender education charities.

Dr Shahzad Malik, Chair of the Board of Trustees at MQ, said: "We're really pleased to be welcoming Lea to MQ, bringing with him a wealth of experience and a track record of delivering transformative change.

These are unprecedented and challenging times. The coronavirus pandemic presents a significant risk to the mental health of individuals and populations across the globe. The immediate task Lea takes on, in leading MQ to mobilise the mental health research response, has never been more important. We look forward to working with Lea to bring scientists and the public together to transform mental health now and for generations to come.”

Lea said: "I’m delighted to be joining MQ at such an important time for mental health. The enormity of the challenge faced by the world's healthcare systems and societies is truly at an all-time high. While our immediate response has been on securing health from infection, the focus now and as we rebuild must also be in continuing to expand our understanding and ability to support mental health and wellbeing for all.

 I have seen first-hand the impact of misunderstood, misdiagnosed and poorly treated mental health. MQ exists to build a brighter future, where mental health conditions are understood, effectively treated and maybe even prevented. As I take up the role of MQ’s CEO, I couldn't be more excited about helping to lead the way to better mental health for all.”

MQ has been working with the Academy of Medical Sciences to lead an urgent mental health research response to coronavirus. In April 2020, MQ and AMS convened an expert group of scientists and those with lived experience to set out mental health research priorities for COVID-19, culminating in a new roadmap, published in Lancet Psychiatry.  Read more about MQ’s research response and donate to our urgent appeal here.  

Last updated: 1 July 2020

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