hero image
Dr. Alex Ross - International Federation on Ageing. Kobe, , JP

Dr. Alex Ross Dr. Alex Ross

Director | WHO Centre for Health Development


Mr Ross leads WHO's key research for universal health coverage, health systems, innovation and ageing, including many partnerships







WHO World Health Day 2012 - Ageing and Health - Kobe - Alex Ross Interview WHO World Health Day 2012 - Ageing and Health - Tokyo - Alex Ross statement Alex Ross | Urban Planning for an Irreversible Trend




Mr. Ross is the Director of the WHO Centre for Health Development (a.k.a. WHO Kobe Centre or WKC), As part of WHO’s Headquarters, the Centre focuses on global research into health, social, and economic factors that contribute to health and development. For over a decade, WKC led WHO’s research on urban health, focusing primarily on documenting and creating innovative solutions to address health inequities, social, economic, and environmental determinants of urban health, and intersectoral action. The Centre is currently leading work on new 10 year research focusing on universal health coverage, innovation and ageing. Over the past three year, WKC has investigated new areas of cross-cutting social and technological innovations for ageing populations. In addition to its practical research, WKC organized two WHO Global Forums on Innovation for Ageing Populations in 2013 and 2015.

Mr Ross is a public health policy expert trained at the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA). Prior to his joining the Centre, he served as Director for Partnerships at WHO Headquarters (Geneva), as well as senior advisory posts to Assistant Director-Generals for Communicable Diseases and for HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria. He led development of WHO’s partnerships policy, and nurtured WHO’s engagement with global health initiatives, non-governmental and private sectors. He was also deeply engaged in a number of key global initiatives such as the HIV/AIDS ‘3x5”, creation of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, UNITAID, the WHO Pandemic Influenza Preparedness framework, and initiatives for innovative financing for health. Before joining WHO, Mr. Ross served in senior positions in the UK Department for International Development (2001-2003), and in several U.S. Government agencies between 1987 and 2001 (USAID Bureau for Africa, U.S. Public Health Service, U.S. House of Representatives’ Energy and Commerce Committee, and U.S. General Accounting Office). URL: http://www.who.int/kobe_centre/en/

Industry Expertise (9)

Research Health and Wellness Government Administration Health Care - Services Legislative Office Medical Devices International Affairs Public Policy Think Tanks

Areas of Expertise (11)

Public Health Health Policy Health Systems Innovation Connected Technologies Aging and Social Policy Aging and the Life Course Public Private Partnerships Policy and Implementation Urban Health Health emergency management and outbreaks

Accomplishments (11)

Director, WHO Centre for Health Development (Kobe) (professional)

From 2011. Global WHO "think tank" specializing in cross-cutting and trans-disciplinary research. Current research focus is: UHC, innovation and ageing. Led two WHO Global Forums on Innovation for Ageing Populations (2013, 2015).

Director, WHO Partnerships and UN Reform (professional)

From 2007-2011. Led corporate WHO policy on relations with a number of hosted partnerships, private sector, NGOs, FBOs, and non-state actors; responsible for WHO engagement in UN reform processes. Led WHO's negotiation to create UNITAID (WHO-side). Led innovative financing for development initiatives, including financing component of PIP framework. Authored World Health Assembly-adopted WHO partnerships policy.

Director, WHO Office of the Assistant Director-General, Communicable Diseases and Surveillance (professional)

From 2005-2007. Responsible for policy and planning in support of the ADG for communicable disease control and surveillance. Included negotiations for virus sharing and Pandemic Influenza negotiations; managing relations with UN SG office and UN partners during H5N1 outbreak.

Director/Chief of Staff, WHO HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria Cluster (professional)

From 2003-2005. Served as Chief of Staff for ADG for HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria. WHO focal point for Global Fund to Fight AIDS TB and Malaria. Key responsibilities in support of '3x5' initiative, TB and malaria drug facilities, and partnerships.

Senior Policy Advisor, UK DFID (professional)

From 2001-2003. Senior advisor for health systems and for HIV/AIDS. Was part of core team developing what became Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. Developed DFID approach to working with non-state actors in health.

Deputy Chief, USAID Bureau for Africa, Health and Education (professional)

From 1993-2001. Responsible for health policy, systems, and for HIV/AIDS programme and policy work for all of USAID's missions in Africa. Key to creating White House LIFE initiative (1999). Led USAID research for decentralization in health.

Senior Policy Analyst, US DHHS, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (professional)

From 1991-1993. Responsible for all policy and programmatic issues concerning CDC and ATSDR for the Assistant Secretary. Covered a broad range of issues from infectious to chronic diseases. Key focal point on policy/planning for HIV/AIDS issues for the Public Health Service.

Presidential Management Fellow, US Congress, House Energy and Commerce Committee (professional)

1987-88. Congressional committee staff -- responsible for Nursing Education Reauthorization Act in 1988, and team for finalization of Catastrophic Health Insurance Coverage legislation,

US General Accounting Office, Evaluator (professional)

1987-89. Programme evaluator for Congressional agency. HIV/AIDS issues and Medicare hospital accreditation.

UCLA School of Public Health (professional)

1985-87. Research assistant on various issues for long term care, Medicare and Medicaid in the US

Company Manager, Martha Graham Dance Company (professional)

Summers, 1980-82. Company manager for the dance company and their European tours.

Education (3)

University of California, Los Angeles: MS, Public Health 1987

Rand Graduate School: Graduate studies, Health policy 1987

University of California, Los Angeles: BS PH, Public Health 1983

Affiliations (2)

  • WHO
  • United Nations

Languages (2)

  • English
  • French

Featured Articles (3)

National action plan to combat multidrug-resistant tuberculosis Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report: Recommendations and Reports


At no time in recent history has tuberculosis (TB) been as great a concern as it is today. TB cases are on the increase, and the most serious aspect of the problem is the recent occurrence of outbreaks of multidrug-resistant (MDR) TB, which pose an urgent public ...

view more

Medical and Assistive Health Technology: Meeting the Needs of Aging Populations The Gerontologist 2016 56 (Suppl 2): S293-S302


A review article on health innovations for ageing populations

Metrics in Urban Health: Current Developments and Future Prospects Annual Review of Public Health Vol. 37: 113-133 (Volume publication date March 2016)


Review article of various methods for measuring urban health

view more