Prof. Jason Leitch

1968 -

Civil servant. Born in Airdrie, the son of a miner, Leitch was educated at Airdrie Academy, where he was dux, and then studied dentistry at the University of Glasgow, graduating in 1991. He practised as an oral surgeon and lectured at the Glasgow Dental Hospital and School before completing a doctorate in Glasgow (2004). He then spent time in the USA, working in heath improvement and undertaking a Masters in Public Health at Harvard University (2005-06).

Leitch joined the Scottish Government in 2007, appointed National Clinical Lead for Safety and Improvement, and rising to become National Clinical Director for Healthcare Quality and Strategy in 2015 within the Health and Social Care Directorate. Leitch was noted for his regular media appearances, giving clear and consistent information to the public, during the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020-21.

He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow and the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. Leitch was appointed to an Honorary Professorship at the University of Dundee (2013) and to a Visiting Professorship at the University of Strathclyde (2019). He was awarded a CBE in 2019 for services to healthcare and charity, and a Fletcher of Saltoun Award by the Saltire Society in 2020, in recognition of his application of scientific methods and his skill in making scientific knowledge accessible during the COVID crisis.

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