Former health secretary Dr York Chow Yat-ngok has been appointed the new chairman of the Equal Opportunities Commission.
Chow will take over the equalities watchdog from Lam Woon-kwong, who is leaving due to concerns of potential conflicts of interest with his role as the Executive Council convener.
A government spokesman said on Tuesday that Chow was appointed to a three-year term starting April 1.
Chow was secretary for health, welfare and food from 2004 to 2007 under Tung Chee-hwa’s administration, and secretary for food and health from 2007 to last year under Donald Tsang Yam-kuen’s government.
An orthopaedic surgeon by profession, Chow is also president of Hong Kong Paralympic Committee and Sports Association for the Physically Disabled, and an adviser of the New Life Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association.
The government spokesman said Chow had extensive experience in public administration and possessed proven leadership, management and communication skills.
“We are confident that under his leadership, the EOC will continue to actively promote equal opportunities and eliminate discrimination in the community,” the spokesman said.
Lam, whose EOC term ends on March 31, has been the commission’s head since early 2010. He earlier announced his departure after his appointment in July as the convener of Exco, a top advisory body to Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, raised concerns over a potential conflict of interest.
The government expressed gratitude for the contribution Lam made over the years:
“During the term of office of Mr Lam, the EOC made important achievements in many areas including implementing the four anti-discrimination ordinances as well as their respective Codes of Practice, enhancing the EOC’s public image and corporate governance, and raising public awareness on equal opportunities in various areas through publicity and public education.”