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Dr John Beard

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.

From January 2008 until he retired in December 2018, Dr Beard was the Director of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Department of Ageing and Life Course.

In 2010, he launched the Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities and from 2010 to 2012, he held the additional position of Director, 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 was the vice-chair and immediate past chair of the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Ageing, and acted as co-editor of the 2014 Lancet series on Ageing, and the special issue of the Bulletin of the World Health Organization on "Women Beyond Reproduction".

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

Dr 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.

Dr Beard was appointed Director of the Board of the Global Centre for Modern Ageing in January 2019.