David Pencheon is a UK trained doctor and was the founder Director of the Sustainable Development Unit for NHS England and Public Health England, established in 2007. He left the SDU on 1st January 2018 and is now an Honorary Professor and an Associate at the Medical and Health School at the University of Exeter, UK, an Advisory Group member and associate with the Wellcome Centre for Cultures and Environments of Health, a trans-disciplinary centre, and a collaborator with the European Centre for Environment and Health and the Global Systems Institute, all at the University of Exeter He has held appointments at University College London (UCL), and is a visiting Professor at the Centre for Environment and Sustainability (CES) at the University of Surrey, and was appointed an Adjunct Professor at Monash University in Melbourne in 2020. In 2018 he was a visiting scholar at the University of Sydney, Australia.
David Pencheon was previously Director of the Public Health Observatory in Cambridge from 2001 to 2007. He has worked as a clinical doctor in the NHS, a joint Director of Public Health in North Cambridgeshire, a Public Health Training Director, with the NHS R&D programme, and in rural China in the early 1990s with Save the Children Fund (UK).
His current roles within these Departments in Exeter is to understand the role of health professionals and health systems in ensuring a safe, equitable and prosperous planet for all. This work is with both undergraduates (with Special Study Modules) and with postgraduates, particularly via the Planetary Health module of the MPH programme.
He was awarded the OBE in the 2012 New Year’s Honours List for services to public health and to the NHS. In 2020 David was awarded the BMJ’s “Outstanding Contribution to Health Award”.