Richard Leese was appointed Chair of Greater Manchester Integrated Care Board from 1st July, 2022. He was born and brought up in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire. After graduating from the University of Warwick, he worked as a teacher in Coventry and as an exchange teacher in the USA before moving to Manchester to take up a post as a youth worker. He was employed variously in youth work, community work, and education research between 1979 and 1988, and was elected to Manchester City Council in 1984. He became Leader of the Council in 1996, having previously served as Deputy Leader (1990–1996), Chair of the Education Committee (1986–1990) and Chair of the Finance Committee (1990–1995).
Richard’s interests include devolution, place-based budgets and the links between economic development and social policy; public service reform as the route to tackling social determinants and inequality; developing open democracy and the community leadership role of local authorities; and the role of cities in creating a sustainable future. His involvement in health and care goes back over two decades to when he chaired the Manchester/Salford/Trafford Health Action Zone. He chaired Manchester’s Health and Well- Being Board from its inception and was the GMCA health portfolio holder for Greater Manchester, chairing the GM Health and Care Board.
His interests outside health and politics include walking, cinema, music, visual art, chess and sport (as a spectator nowadays, he is a Manchester City season ticket holder and a member of Lancashire CCC). He is a regular runner and cyclist.