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The president of the British Dental Association is our most senior member, elected each year at the Annual General Meeting. The president does not undertake an executive role during their one-year term of office, but represents the BDA at appropriate meetings and events in the UK and overseas.

The role of president is most appropriately described as ceremonial, though the office bearer (usually an individual who has made a significant contribution to the affairs of the profession) is in a position to offer counsel during their term of office through attendance at meetings of the Board.

The current President of the BDA is Russ Ladwa (2020/21) and the President Elect is Liz Kay (2021/23).


Russ Ladwa

BDS (Lon) 1975, LDS RCS (Eng) 1976, DGDP (UK) 1992, MGDS

RCS (Eng) 1997, FFGDP(UK) 2003, Hon FDS RCS (Eng) 2010


​Russ qualified as a dentist from the London Hospital Medical College in 1975.

He returned from a short spell with the USA Army as a civilian dentist to an associate job in an NHS practice in west London in 1977, buying the practice within months.


Education and leadership

His BDA connections began when feeling isolated, he reached out to the Ealing Acton Section meeting. Very soon after, he was volunteering his time and expertise and eventually promoted to section chair.

In the early 80s, Russ was involved in founding the Asian Odontology Group and in the late 80s was a founding member of the Association of Dental Implantology.

​In 1990, he was one of the first London GDPs appointed as Postgraduate Dental Tutor and possibly one of the longest-standing – 23 years in Russ’ case.

Two years later, he became a Fellow of the Faculty of General Dental Practitioners. Elected to its board in 1994, he held many roles until elected Dean in 2009 until 2012.

In 1997, he passed the MGDS of the RCS England, 22 years after his last examination. He is equally proud of his fellowships of FGDP (UK) and honorary fellowship of the FDS, bestowed for
contributions to the profession.

From 2004 to 2006, he chaired two different and diverse bodies, the Federation of London Local Dental Committees and the then Dental Vocational Authority, a ‘licensing’ body with a panel of 35 dentists.

Leaving the office of Dean of FGDP (UK) in 2012, he became a board member of the odontology section of the Royal Society of Medicine before being made President.

In the same year, having been a life-long member of the BDA, Russ was elected to its Board and served until 2019.


Family groundings

Russ is incredibly proud of his family. His wife, Taru Chavda, graduated with a BSc in Chemistry. They are parents to daughters Meera, a junior doctor, and Radhika, a dentist.

Russ has always wanted to be a participant rather than an observer. His driving force is standing up to any form of injustice or unfairness, anywhere.


Previous presidents

​A list of all our previous presidents and vice presidents dating back to our first in 1880, John Tomes.