The appointees will provide strategic advice and thought leadership for clients as well as horizon-scanning for the agency.
Niall Dickson joins after a stint as chief executive at the NHS Confederation. His previous positions have included chief executive of the General Medical Council, and the same role at the King’s Fund. In his earlier career as a journalist, he was editor of Nursing Times, then spent 15 years at the BBC, rising from health correspondent to social affairs editor.
Dickson is joined by Professor Salisbury, a former director of immunisation at the Department of Health, and an associate fellow at Chatham House’s global health programme.
Athena Lamnisos, chief executive of gynaecological cancer research charity The Eve Appeal, and a former board director at Forster Communications, completes the high-profile trio appointed as senior counsel.
Meanwhile, Grace Holland, a former senior account executive at life science PR agency Zyme Communications, has joined Ovid as an account manager.
Jenny Ousbey, managing director of Ovid, said: “It is an incredibly exciting time for the agency and Niall, David and Athena are highly regarded in their respective fields."
She added: "The unique expertise each brings to our senior counsel will be invaluable as we continue to help clients to tell their story and achieve change in the health, social care and life sciences sectors. I’m also delighted to welcome Grace to the team as we continue to expand and grow.”
Founded in 2018 by Ousbey, ex-head of health at WA Communications, Ovid was highly commended in the New Consultancy of the Year category in the PRWeek UK Awards 2020.
The agency has made several high-profile hires in past year, such as bringing in Roudie Shafie, former head of government affairs at the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, as a director. It also recently recruited Rachel Gonzaga, former global comms director at GSK, as an associate director.
Ovid said it has achieved six-figure growth in the past year. Current clients range from the NHS Confederation to healthcare tech and software firm Circular Wave, and the Huntercombe Group.
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