KEYNOTE: Dr John Beard, Director of Ageing and Life Course

Dr John Beard, M.B.B.S., Ph.D., is Director of Ageing and Life Course with the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva. 

WHO has identified ageing as one of its priority areas of work, and Dr Beard leads a "whole of Organization" response that draws on the extensive capacity of the Organization's many Departments, Regions and Country Offices.

 This will include a World Report on Ageing and Health to be released in 2015, to be followed by a Global Strategy and Action Plan in 2016.

 It also includes major global research and knowledge translation initiatives with a particular focus on low and middle income countries, as well as the WHO Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities which now covers over 100 million people.   

Dr Beard is an Australian physician who initially worked in primary health care, including several years with an Aboriginal Medical Service. 

From 1991 he held a range of senior public health and academic roles in Australia including Manager of Public Health for the Sydney 2000 Olympics, followed by three years as Senior Epidemiologist with the New York Academy of Medicine in the USA.

He is the vice-chair and immediate past chair of the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Ageing, and acted as coeditor of the 2014 Lancet series on Ageing, and the special issue of the Bulletin of the World Health Organization on "Women Beyond Reproduction". 

From 2010 to 2012 he held the additional position of Director (a.i.), Department of Gender, Women and Health with WHO. He is an Honorary Professor with University of Sydney.

Dr Beard has published widely in the international literature.

He remains actively involved in several large international research projects, and has a particular interest in the influence of the physical, social and economic environments on health.

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