Mark Henderson has been Head of Communications at the Wellcome Trust, the world’s second highest-spending charitable foundation, since January 2012.
At Wellcome, Mark has led numerous communications campaigns and initiatives that have contributed directly to key strategic priorities and grown Wellcome’s international profile and brand. Key achievements have included:
- Mitochondrial donation: a campaign over several years to build support for legislation that would approve clinical use of mitochondrial donation or “three-person IVF”. It culminated in an overwhelming parliamentary vote of support in 2015.
- Ebola: successful campaign to persuade WHO and other key players that experimental drugs and vaccines should be tested in the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.
- Communications strategy: introducing a prioritised approach to communications as a strategic lever for achieving key Wellcome goals through maximum influence with opinion-formers and policy-makers.
- Reputation management: strategic communications to anticipate and then counter threats to Wellcome’s reputation, especially over investment-related issues such as a fossil fuel divestment campaign run by the Guardian
- Digital innovation: introduced transformative digital strategy emphasising responsive design and user experience. Created open-source, long-form digital science magazine Mosaic, which publishes under a creative commons licence: 1.5 million reads in first year, with more than 7m reads through republishing by third parties.
Mark joined Wellcome after 15 years at The Times, where he was an award-winning Science Editor.
At The Times, he was instrumental in founding Eureka, the newspaper’s monthly science magazine, and developed a reputation as one of the UK’s leading science journalists. His awards included: three prizes from the Medical Journalists’ Association, the Royal Statistical Society’s prize for statistical excellence in journalism, and the European Best Cancer Reporter prize from the European School of Oncology.
He is the author of two books: The Geek Manifesto: Why Science Matters, which explores the relationship between science and politics, was published by Bantam Press in May 2012. 50 Genetics Ideas You Really Need to Know, was published in 2009.