The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) has today (Friday, May 17) announced Dr Jenny Stewart as its interim chief executive.

Stewart’s term will begin on July 1, 2024. Her appointment follows news from earlier in year that current chief executive David Holdsworth is leaving.

APHA said the recruitment process for a permanent chief executive will take place in due course.

Stewart is APHA’s director of science and transformation and is a member of the executive board.

APHA said she will bring extensive experience from these positions, as well as other public sector leadership roles, including in the Home Office and the Open University.

On her appointment to the role of interim chief executive, Stewart said: “I am absolutely thrilled to take on this role at such an important and challenging time for APHA.

“As always, we have lots to deliver for the UK to support trade, ensure biosecurity, food safety and food security.

“I hope my passion for the essential work we do to benefit communities, our environment and the economy will ensure the Agency continues to go from strength to strength.”

Outgoing APHA chief executive, David Holdsworth, said: “I have had the privilege of being CEO of the Animal and Plant Health Agency for the last two years and I am in awe at the level of commitment and expertise in the Agency.

“I am delighted at Jenny‚Äôs appointment as interim CEO, as this will ensure the foundation on which we have built our new strategy will continue and strengthen the Agency for any forthcoming challenges.”