You are here

Appointment: John Beard joins CEPAR


Dr John Beard, former Director of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Department of Ageing and Life Course, has been appointed to a part-time Professorial role in the ARC Centre of Excellence of Population Ageing Research (CEPAR) at UNSW Sydney. In this role, Beard will shape the development and growth of the Centre’s research program, especially projects focused on Asia.

“I am delighted that John has accepted this appointment. His global expertise with health and ageing policy will enrich CEPAR’s evolving research program in this area,” says CEPAR Director John Piggott. “He will play a leading role in the strategic development of linkages with high calibre institutions in Asia.”

John Beard is the former Director of WHO’s Department of Ageing and Life Course, a position he held from 2009 to 2018. During his time at WHO he was also the Director of the Department of Gender, Women and Health from 2010 to 2012.

John Beard was a lead writer and editor of the first World report on ageing and health (2015), and oversaw the development of the Global strategy and action plan on ageing and health, adopted by WHO Member States in May 2016. In 2010, he launched the Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities.

He initially worked as a physician in South Africa, the United Kingdom and rural Australia, including several years as medical officer for a community controlled Aboriginal Medical Service. He subsequently held a range of senior public health and academic roles in Australia and the USA, including as the founding head of the University of Sydney’s Department of Rural Health, Manager of Public Health for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, and Senior Epidemiologist with the New York Academy of Medicine. He works closely with the World Economic Forum and is a past chair of their Global Agenda Council on Ageing and a current member of the Global Council on the Future of Human Enhancement.

John Beard remains actively involved in several large international research studies on ageing and has published over 120 publications. He has an H-Index of 43.

He is on the International Editorial Board of Public Health, and has been an editor for a number of key publications including the World Economic Forum monograph “Global Population Ageing: Peril or Promise?”, the 2014 Lancet series on Ageing, and the 2013 special issue of the Bulletin of the World Health Organization on “Women Beyond Reproduction”.

John Beard has a PhD in Medicine and Epidemiology from the University of Sydney and retains ongoing links with the institution through his appointment as an Honorary Professor.