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. 

Trevor Simpson (Tuhoe, Ngāti Awa)

Chief Advisor, Māori

Trevor joined PHARMAC in October 2020 as Chief Advisor Māori. After more than nine years with the Health Promotion Forum, Trevor has been involved in raising the profile of Māori issues in several other vocations including Te Tiriti o Waitangi Settlement process, Māori social development work, and special youth projects. Previously an elected member of the Global Executive Board of the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE) and Co-Chair of the International Network for Indigenous Health Promotion Practitioners, Trevor champions indigenous health development, health as a human right and Māori Public Health. He is also a National White Ribbon Ambassador, a cause to which he is firmly dedicated.

Trevor will ensure PHARMAC receives Māori advice at a senior leadership level to inform and shape how we uphold our commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi. This includes a focus on health equity for Māori and the inclusion of mātauranga Māori across the organisation.

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.