Chairman, NHS Improvement and Lead non-executive director, DfT

Ed Smith CBE, FCA, CPFA, Hon DUniv, Hon LLDs

Ed Smith CBE, FCA, CPFA, Hon DUniv, Hon LLDs



Ed Smith is the Chairman of NHS Improvement and the lead non-executive director for the Department for Transport.

Ed is the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council at the University of Birmingham and Treasurer of Chatham House.

He was the former Global Assurance Chief Operating Officer and Strategy Chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). Before retiring he had a successful 30-year career with PwC, holding many leading board and top client roles in the UK and globally as a Senior Partner.

Register of interests

  • Chairman, NHS Improvement
  • Lead non-executive director, Department for Transport
  • Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, University of Birmingham
  • Member of Council and Treasurer, Chatham House
  • Chairman, Caterham School
  • Non-executive director, NHS Property Services

Chairman, NHS Improvement

From 1 April 2016, NHS Improvement brings together Monitor, NHS Trust Development Authority, Patient Safety, the National Reporting and Learning System, the Advancing Change Team and the Intensive Support Teams.

NHS Improvement is responsible for overseeing foundation trusts and NHS trusts, as well as independent providers that provide NHS-funded care. It offers the support these providers need to give patients consistently safe, high quality, compassionate care within local health systems that are financially sustainable.

By holding providers to account and, where necessary, intervening, NHS Improvement will help the NHS to meet its short-term challenges and secure its future.

Lead non-executive director, DfT

Non-executive board members provide the Department for Transport with strategic advice, support and challenge. They also attend departmental board meetings and meet with the management team.

  • non-executive board member since January 2009
  • lead non-executive director since January 2015
  • member of Board Investment and Commercial Committee
  • Chair Nominations and Governance Committee
  • former member of the Group Audit and Risk Assurance Committee
  • Smith review of DfT governance of arm’s length bodies (November 2015)
  • supported work on the Laidlaw review