Senior Leadership Team

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Sarah Fitt BPharm, DipMgmt

Chief Executive

Sarah was appointed Chief Executive of PHARMAC in January 2018, having been PHARMAC’s Director of Operations since 2013. 

Under Sarah’s leadership, PHARMAC has:

  • expanded the number and range of funded medicines available to New Zealanders
  • widened access to currently funded medicines
  • managed of funding medicines in all New Zealand public hospitals
  • laid the groundwork for PHARMAC to manage hospital medical devices. 

Sarah is driving an improvement programme to make PHARMAC’s decisions clearer and faster. She is committed to reducing inequities of access to funded medicines. 

Before joining PHARMAC, Sarah spent 12 years as Chief Pharmacist at Auckland Hospital and worked as a clinical pharmacist in the NHS specialising in HIV, intensive care and hepatology. 

Sarah oversees the Senior Leadership Team and is directly answerable to the PHARMAC Board. 

Lisa Williams LLB, BA

Director of Operations

Lisa joined PHARMAC in January 2008 as General Counsel following seven years in the UK working for a large multinational pharmaceutical company. From 2013 to 2018 Lisa led the Pharmaceutical Funding Team within the Operations Directorate. She was appointed to the Senior Leadership Team in February 2018.

As Director of Operations Lisa oversees the Pharmaceutical Funding, Devices Funding, Procurement & Contracts, Health Economics, Device Strategy & Development, and Schedule Strategy and Development teams.

Alison Hill BA

Director of Engagement & Implementation

Alison joined PHARMAC as Director of Engagement & Implementation in July 2018. She leads a diverse directorate that includes the Policy, Communications, Implementation, Māori Responsiveness, and Access Equity teams.

Before joining PHARMAC Alison was General Manager Community Engagement and Strategic Partnering in the establishment of the new Ministry for Children, Oranga Tamariki. Prior to that she was General Manager Provider and Community Services in the Ministry of Justice. Alison is particularly proud of her role in establishing restorative justice in New Zealand’s criminal justice system, and in creating the new independent agency for children and young people in care, VOYCE – Whakarongo Mai.

Mark Woodard BA, MBA

Director of Corporate Services / Chief Financial Officer

Mark joined PHARMAC in 2014, to lead the Corporate Services Directorate. Mark’s career has included time as CEO of Presbyterian Support and as CFO for various organisations including in the health sector. He has an MBA from Wharton and a BA from Cornell University in the United States.

As Director of Corporate Services/CFO, Mark oversees the Legal, Finance, Analysis, Human Resources, Information Communications & Technology Services, and Information Knowledge & Business Services teams.

Michael Johnson BA (Hons)

Director of Strategic Initiatives

Michael joined PHARMAC's senior leadership team in September 2017. His experience and knowledge of the health sector include 9 years working in various roles for the Ministry of Health – with the last 5 years working as Senior Health Advisor to the Minister of Health – and various roles with the NHS in Scotland.

As Director of Strategic Initiatives, Michael provides leadership and coordination of PHARMAC’s strategy and related project work. 


Acting Medical Director 

Dr Clark joined PHARMAC in August 2019 and is the Acting Medical Director. Dr Clark is a fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators and prior to joining PHARMAC was the Chief Medical Officer of MidCentral DHB for 17 years. He has broad experience in medical training and education, clinical governance and professional affairs.

Dr Clark has practised as an obstetrician and gynaecologist for many years, is a past president of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

Dr Clark's last day at PHARMAC will be 27 November 2020.