Director of the Department of Ageing and Life Course, World Health Organization (WHO), Switzerland
John Beard, Director of the Department of Ageing and Life Course, World Health Organization (WHO), Switzerland
Dr John Beard is Director of the Department of Ageing and Life Course with the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva. WHO has identified ageing as a priority area of work, and John leads a “whole of Organization” response that draws on the extensive capacity of the Organization’s many Departments, Regions and Country Offices. He was lead editor of the first World report on ageing and health which was released in 2015 and co-editor of the 2014 Lancet series on Ageing. His team was responsible for drafting the Global Strategy and Action Plan on Ageing and Health which was adopted by WHO’s 194 Member States in 2016.
WHO ’s ongoing work on ageing and health 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 includes around 400 cities in 40 countries. John is an Australian physician and has held senior public health and academic roles in Australia and the USA. He is past chair of the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Ageing and a current member of their Council on the Future of Human Enhancement. 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.