Howard Catton, CEO



International Council of Nurses


Howard was appointed the Chief Executive Officer of the International Council of Nurses (ICN) in February 2019. He is committed to ensure that ICN effectively represents nursing worldwide, advances the nursing profession, promotes the wellbeing of nurses and advocates for health in all policies.


Throughout his career Howard has worked and written extensively on issues relating to the Nursing and Healthcare Workforce and he co-chaired the first ever State of the World’s Nursing Report. He has led ICN’s work to respond to and support nurses globally during the pandemic and has been at the forefront of advocating for the protection of and investment in the nursing profession.


Howard joined ICN in April 2016 as the Director, Nursing, Policy and Programmes. His team led the development of ICN policy and position statements. He also co-ordinated ICN Programmes and projects and oversaw the development of scientific programmes for ICN events.


Howard qualified as a Registered Nurse in 1988 and held a variety of nursing posts in England and the United States and worked for the New Zealand Nurses Organisation. He studied Social Policy at Cardiff University (BSc Econ Hons) and Industrial Relations at Warwick University (MA) and then worked as a Personnel and Organisational Change Manager in the National Health Service in the UK. For 10 years Howard was Head of Policy & International Affairs at the Royal College of Nursing in the UK.