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London, United Kingdom – It is with sadness that we announce that our Management Board Chair, Lady Barbara Judge CBE, has passed away after a battle with pancreatic cancer.
Lady Judge was an advocate for women’s rights in both her personal life and a professional career that spanned law, banking, regulation and nuclear industries. Appointed the youngest commissioner at the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the first female director at News International, the first woman to be appointed an executive director of a British merchant bank, the first woman on the Board of Overseers of the Wharton School of Management, and the first woman to chair the UK’s Institute of Directors, Lady Judge broke barriers in these sectors and encouraged other women to strive for similar achievements.
We were obviously both honoured and delighted when Lady Judge agreed to join SNOMED International as Management Board Chair in April 2017, harnessing her corporate governance acumen to improve patient health outcomes through terminology-enabled digital health initiatives. As a result of her highly effective contributions in this role, she had been invited to continue as Chair until October 2023, something she gladly welcomed. Throughout her tenure at SNOMED International, she led the organization to strive for innovation and excellence in our governing practices, while serving as a mentor to all whom she worked with. Her mentorship was not, however, confined to the boardroom, Barbara had an infectious sociability and encouraged informal gatherings where people could be themselves and exchange ideas on almost any topic.
Lady Judge was also committed to raising awareness of pancreatic cancer and to supporting research efforts to better understand and treat the disease. She took time in her last weeks to record a video in which she shares her experience with pancreatic cancer and exhorts others, who may not act sufficiently quickly to obtain medical attention, to do so before the cancer is too advanced. This moving video can be viewed here.
As will so many people around the globe, we shall miss her very much and, on behalf of the organization that she served so faithfully for the past four years, SNOMED International extends its sympathy to Lady Barbara’s family.