Appointment of the Chair of the Care Quality Commission - Health Committee Contents

Appendix 2: CV for Dame Jo Williams

The CV reproduced here is that submitted with Dame Jo Williams' application for the post in February 2010. At the time of the pre-appointment hearing on 9 September Dame Jo was no longer involved as:

  • Non-Executive of the Department of Communities and Local Government
  • Member of Sounding Board for Third Sector
  • Co-Chair of Learning Disabilities Coalition

In addition, in July 2010, Dame Jo was appointed as a Commissioner for the Commission on the Funding of Care and Support.


Dame Jo Williams DBE BA DL


My life has been guided by my belief in integrity, inclusion and fairness. I have an enthusiasm for new challenges, and an ability to motivate others, helping individuals gain confidence and maximise their contribution. Whilst I am clear about my leadership skills, I know that really making an impact will only happen if there is teamwork and engagement in a shared vision. I have a huge amount of energy, love people and bring about innovation and enthusiasm in those with whom I work.

After more than 30 years in Local Government I was privileged to be the Chief Executive for Mencap for 5 years. I was awarded a CBE in January 2000 for services to Social Services in Cheshire and as President of the Association of Directors of Social Services. In January 2007 I was honoured to receive a D.B.E for my work with people with a learning disability.


Currently I am Chair of The Prison Reform Trust, a Non-Executive Director of the Department of Communities and Local Government, interim Chair of the Care Quality Commission and have a range of other roles in the voluntary sector. I am also leading a review of the child and adolescent mental health services. In 2009 I was appointed as a Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire County Council.

In Mencap I managed a budget of £170 million and led a workforce of over 6500.

Over my 5 years at Mencap I worked hard to raise its impact and profile by understanding and using the media, modernising the internal structure, acting as an ambassador and champion for people with a learning disability and their families. I also established the Learning Disability Coalition that brought together 10 organisations to create a single lobbying body concerned with the resourcing of learning disability services.


Over the last decade I have been involved in shaping public policy on a number of issues. I currently serve as a member of the following:

  • The Sounding Board (which I co-chair) established to advise Department of Health Policy on work with the Third Sector.
  • The Government's Standing Commission on Carers.
  • The National Learning Disability Task Force - a body that continues to oversee Government policy in relation to people with a learning disability.

  • Alongside a colleague who has a learning disability I co-chair the Learning Disability Coalition; a body dedicated to improving the lives of people with a learning disability. I am particularly proud of bringing 10 organisations together to speak with 'one voice'.
  • The LGA Commission looking at accountability in the NHS.

Previous similar experience includes membership of:

  • A taskforce (which I co-chaired with Ivan Lewis, Minister of Health) concerned with "Commissioning with the Third Sector".
  • A Commission, chaired by Sir Alan Langlands, which produced guidance on governance in the public sector.
  • The team preparing the NHS National Plan, published in July 2000, I was closely involved in the development of its Partnership theme. My work on this group drew heavily on developments I pursued in partnership working in Cheshire.
  • The group that established the General Social Care Council as a member of the Advisory Group 2000/01. This body has responsibility for setting standards and regulating the social care workforce.
  • Following the enquiries at Bristol Royal Infirmary I co-chaired a national working group that developed standards for health and social care for children, who require acute and hospital services. This was the first standard issued as part of the National Service Framework for Children.


  • I am frequently asked to address national conferences concerned with social policy.
  • There have been many opportunities to work with the press, radio and TV, and I believe I have developed good skills in this area. The list of 'appearances' includes a number of spots on the 'Today' programme, Breakfast TV, Five Live, and on one occasion 'Newsnight'.
  • I have an outgoing personality that serves me well in engaging and forming positive relationships with others, regardless of their role or status.
  • For 10 years I was privileged to be a Director of Social Services. I served two local authorities - Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council and Cheshire County Council. I am described as a force for change, an inspirational leader who is dynamic and approachable. I know people who say "Jo does". As Chief Executive of Mencap, I believe I refreshed the organisation and enhanced its reputation as the leading charity for learning disability.


1959 - 1966 Queen Elizabeth's Girls Grammar School Mansfield, Nottingham
3 'A' levels
1967 - 1971 Keele University
BA Honours - Sociology and Social Studies and a Diploma in Social Work Class 2, Grade 1.
1988 Henley Management College Management Training Course.
2009 Honorary Doctor of Letters (Keele University)

1971 - 1992 A variety of posts in Social Services with Cheshire County Council
1992 - 1997 Director of Social Services (Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council)
1997 - 2002 Director of Social Services (Cheshire County Council)
2003 - 2008 Chief Executive - Royal Mencap Society


Companion of the Chartered Management Institute
Fellowship of the City and Guilds of London Institute (FCGI)

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