I worked for the World Health Organization (WHO) Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland from 2000 to 2019. I have now retired from WHO and am working part-time as a consultant and enjoying life in Geneva. As the Coordinator responsible for WHO official health statistics from 2002 to 2018, I  managed WHO’s work on summary measures of population health, burden of disease and coordinated its work on comprehensive global health statistics.  Prior to joining the World Health Organization in 2000, I worked for the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare for 13 years in technical and senior managerial posts.

My 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. I have collaborated with leading researchers throughout the world on issues relating to the development and applications of summary measures of population health and in monitoring trends in global health. I have authored or edited 30 books and major reports, over 50 book chapters and more than 140  journal articles in peer-reviewed publications.

I have 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. I also carried out projections of global, regional and country mortality and burden of disease from 2011 to 2030. My Unit produced regular updates of child and maternal mortality, life expectancy and estimates of deaths by cause, age and sex for the 194 Member States of WHO, in collaboration with other UN agencies, the World Bank and academic collaborators. I also oversaw the annual publication of the WHO flagship publication World Health Statistics, which is closely linked to WHO’s Global Health Observatory (www.who.int/gho).

In August 2015, I was appointed as Honorary Professor in the College of Medicine & Veterinary Medicine, by the University of Edinburgh (http://www.ed.ac.uk/news/staff/2015/appointment-colin-mathers-060815)

I have been included in the Web of Science lists of the most highly cited researchers in the field of medicine from 2014 through to 2022. The lists of around 400 researchers are based on the number of highly cited papers (in the top 1% of citations over the previous decade) in the field, according to the Web of Science. According to Google Scholar, my H index is 112 and total citations of my publications are more than 203,000 as of April 2023.

For more information:





© Colin Douglas Mathers, 2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of photographs and original material without my written permission is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Colin Douglas Mathers and this website with appropriate citation or link to the original content.

6 Responses to About

  1. Dear Colin
    Having searched for Henry Crayshay Teasdale I came across you blog and it would seem we have a family connection. I am Andrew Arthur Matthews, paternal grandson of Captain Arthur George Teasdale Matthews MBE who servied as Assitant Surgeon / Medical Officer in India. His wife was Ellen Grace Teasdale and AGT adopted his wife’s maiden name probably circa 1906. Ellen’s father was Henry Jackson Teasdale , Assistsnt Police Superintendent Rohtuck District India . I believe his father to be Major Henry Crawshay Teasdale . I am currently working on my family tree so any information or help would be gratefully received . I look forward to hearing from you
    BW Andrew

  2. Dear mister Mathers,

    On behalf of the Dutch Institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) we have send you an e-mail regarding an upcoming audit on mathematical health modelling, but unsure if we used the correct e-mail address. Could you please send me the correct one so we can inform you further? Thank you in advance.
    Best regards,
    Debby van der Vliet
    RIVM, the Netherlands

  3. Dear Colin Douglas Mathers,

    Hello! I am delighted to be acquainted with you here. First of all, I noticed that you read and liked Anthony Garner’s excellent post entitled ““What is it like to be”……Trump?”, and promptly paid your blog a visit to learn more about you. What an impressive blog into which I have stumbled! 16 years with the World Health Organization, 13 years with the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, and Honorary Professorship in the College of Medicine & Veterinary Medicine at the University of Edinburgh, plus numerous publications, amount to a great deal of professional experiences.

    Considering that you have commented so informatively on Anthony’s post, I would like to recommend to you my recently published post entitled “Misquotation Pandemic and Disinformation Polemic: Mind Pollution by Viral Falsity” at https://soundeagle.wordpress.com/2020/12/19/misquotation-pandemic-and-disinformation-polemic-mind-pollution-by-viral-falsity/

    I would be delighted if you could kindly submit your comment to my said article, as I am very keen and curious to know what you think or make of it regarding the increasingly pressing issues that many of us are facing, worsen all the more by mental pitfalls (or even mental health), social media, digital globalization, populism, Trumpism, illiberal democracy, and other behavioural and sociopolitical factors.

    By the way, I would like to wish you a very happy New Year. May you find 2021 very much to your liking and highly conducive to your writing, reading, thinking and blogging!

    • colinmathers says:

      Thank you for your kind words. I’ve commented on your very comprehensive post and fully agree on the issues the world is facing with the creation of social media bubbles that amplify confirmation bias and tend to drive people to more extreme interpretations of partial evidence (or no evidence at all). Relates to an interest of mine in the politicization and distortion of debate around the science of issues like tobacco smoking, vaccination, climate change etc. See for example https://colinmathers.com/2019/10/12/climate-change-and-the-denial-of-reality/
      Best wishes for a better year in 2021, Colin

  4. Stella R. Quah says:

    Dear Prof Mathers, we need your input on your article published in the 2nd Edition of the International Encyclopedia of Public Health (Elsevier, 2017) but have been unable to reach you. Kindly confirm your current email address. Is it mathersc@who.int ?
    Thank you.
    Stella R. Quah, Editor-in-Chief, IEPH

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s