Dr Thomas Waite will replace Professor Jonathan Van-Tam as the deputy chief medical officer (DCMO) for England, the DHSC has announced.
The new DCMO will support Professor Chris Whitty, chief medical officer, focussing on emergency response and preparedness, infectious diseases, vaccines and therapeutics.
His appointment comes a few weeks after Professor Van-Tam stepped down at the end of March.
Dr Waite previously held posts in global health, infectious disease and environmental health protection, with postgraduate qualifications in public health, medical toxicology and medical education.
He most recently worked as the director of the UK Field Epidemiology Training Programme: a two-year fellowship training programme for medical or nursing staff whose role may involve field investigation or epidemiology.
He also helped to create the Joint Biosecurity Centre which informed local and national decision-making in the pandemic response. He has been interim DCMO since May 2021.
Dr Waite said: ‘I am looking forward to the opportunity of working with teams throughout the country to develop our preparedness for health hazards and emergencies and to protect the health of the public.’
Professor Whitty said: ‘Dr Waite has an excellent track record of delivery. His wealth of experience in epidemiology and emergency preparedness will benefit the government’s ongoing public health responses as well as help us to prepare for future events.’
Dr Waite will succeed Professor Van-Tam, who returned to the University of Nottingham as the pro-vice-chancellor for its Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.