Professor Max Abbott, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of the Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences at Auckland University of Technology (AUT), said he is delighted to announce the creation of a new Chair of Digital Health Leadership and the appointment of Dr Lester Levy to the position.
“This is the first Chair of its type in New Zealand and an exciting advance for AUT as the world of healthcare becomes increasingly subject to digital disruption,” said Professor Abbott.
The newly established role will see Professor Levy develop an interdisciplinary digital health research programme and introduce key elements of digital health to relevant academic programmes across the faculty and wider university.
Professor Levy is an astute business leader with an extensive knowledge of the health sector.
He has almost three decades of experience in management and governance in both the public and private sectors, as a chairman, chief executive, entrepreneur and advisor.
Professor Levy is the appointed chairman of the Health Research Council of New Zealand. He was previously a member of the Ministerial Advisory Group on Health and chairman of all three Auckland region district health boards (Auckland, Waitemata and Counties Manukau). He was also chief executive of South Auckland Health, the New Zealand Blood Service and MercyAscot Hospital Group (of which he was a founder).
Professor Levy is a graduate of Medicine (MBBCh), has a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) and until recently was an Adjunct Professor of Leadership at the University of Auckland Business School.
His research on leadership has been published in a number of peer reviewed journals, including Organization, Leadership, the Journal of Leadership and Organisational Studies, European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, Management Communication Quarterly and Asia-Pacific Journal of Business Administration, while his medical research has been published in The American Journal of Cardiology and New Zealand Medical Journal.
He is also the author of the book Leadership and the Whirlpool Effect.
Professor Levy has served on 25 boards, more than half as chairman, across a wide range of sectors, including healthcare, digital platform technology, software, engineering, biotechnology, transport, logistics, film and television production, and research.
He is also a lead reviewer for the State Services Commission’s Performance Improvement Framework, designed to enhance the leadership and performance of public sector agencies.
In 1978, he left his native South Africa as a young doctor to move to the home of his childhood hero Sir Edmund Hillary.
In the 2013 New Year’s Honours List he was appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) for services to health and education.