Colin Mathers is the Coordinator of the Mortality and Burden of Disease Unit in the Innovation, Information, Evidence and Research Cluster at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland. From 2002 to present he has managed WHO’s work on summary measures of population health and burden of disease. Prior to joining the World Health Organization in 2000, he worked for the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare for 13 years in technical and senior managerial posts.
He carried out a national hospital utilization and costs study leading to the establishment of an ongoing national hospital database, and led the project which established the Australian National Death Index (for epidemiological linked record studies). He also developed the first set of Australian health accounts mapping health expenditures by age, sex and disease and injury causes and carried out an influential national burden of disease and risk factors study, the first such study in Australia.
More recently, he has played a key role at WHO in the development of comparable estimates of healthy life expectancy for 192 countries, in the updating of the global burden of disease study and publication of regular updates by WHO, and in the development of software tools to support burden of disease analysis at country level. He has recently completed new projections of global, regional and country mortality and burden of disease from 2002 to 2030. He leads the team which produces regular updates of child and maternal mortality, life expectancy and estimates of deaths by cause, age and sex for the 193 Member States of WHO, in collaboration with other UN agencies, the World Bank and academic collaborators. relating to the development and applications of summary measures of population health and in monitoring trends in global health. His principal research interests are in the measurement and reporting of population health and its determinants, burden of disease methods and applications, and projections of human mortality and healthy life expectancy. He has collaborated with leading researchers throughout the world on issues. He has authored or edited 26 books and major reports, over 50 book chapters and more than 90 journal articles in peer-reviewed publications