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On October 23rd, host Lee Huntsman and Cambia Grove are pleased to welcome Dr. Ali Mokdad, Chief Strategy Officer of Population Health and Associate Chair for Collaboration at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at University of Washington, to discuss costs and quality of health care and how that translates to health outcomes globally.
Ali H. Mokdad, PhD, is a Professor of Health Metrics Sciences at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) and Chief Strategy Officer for Population Health at the University of Washington. The Population Health Initiative was launched by President Ana Mari Cauce to create a shared vision for improving the health and well-being of populations locally and around the world.
As a public health researcher, Dr. Mokdad has published groundbreaking work on local-level disease trends and some of the leading risk factors for poor health. His work on obesity is among the most highly cited in the field.
As Director of Middle Eastern Initiatives for IHME, Dr. Mokdad builds IHME's presence in the Middle East through new research projects, dissemination and uptake of IHME's methods and results, and consultations with regional leaders in population health.
Dr. Mokdad is the principal investigator for the monitoring and evaluation of the Salud Mesoamerica Initiative, which provides independent evaluation for the public-private partnership between the Mesoamerican countries, private foundations, and bilateral donors. This partnership seeks to reduce inequities in the coverage of basic health services among the poorest populations in Mesoamerica. He is also the principal investigator of “Visualizing the impact and cost of interventions on future projections of diarrhea burden,” whose goal is to provide 25 years of forecasting for diarrheal disease burden and a simulation for the cost-effectiveness of known and developing interventions. He was instrumental in securing a grant for IHME in 2019 from the Inter-American Development Bank to evaluate malaria programs in several Latin American and Caribbean nations, part of a project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Carlos Slim Foundation, and The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
Prior to joining IHME, Dr. Mokdad worked at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), starting his career there in 1990. He served in numerous positions with the International Health Program; the Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity; the National Immunization Program; and the National Center for Chronic Diseases Prevention and Health Promotion, where he was Chief of the Behavioral Surveillance Branch.
He also managed and directed the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), the world’s largest standardized telephone survey, which enables the CDC, state health departments, and other health and education agencies to monitor risk behaviors related to the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in the United States.
Dr. Mokdad has published more than 450 articles and numerous reports. He has received several awards, including the Global Health Achievement Award for his work in Banda Aceh after the tsunami, the Department of Health and Human Services Honor Award for his work on flu monitoring, and the Shepard Award for outstanding scientific contribution to public health for his work on BRFSS.
He received his BS in Biostatistics from the American University of Beirut and his PhD in Quantitative Epidemiology from Emory University.
The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) is an independent population health research center at UW Medicine, part of the University of Washington, that provides rigorous and comparable measurement of the world's most important health problems and evaluates the strategies used to address them. IHME makes this information freely available so that policymakers have the evidence they need to make informed decisions about how to allocate resources to best improve population health.
About Lee Huntsman, PhD
After distinguished service in academic leadership spanning more than two decades, Lee Huntsman was named President Emeritus by the University of Washington Board of Regents in July 2004. In this role, he provided leadership in a variety of scientific and policy initiatives underway at the University and in the State of Washington. From 2005 to 2012, he also served as the first executive director of the Life Sciences Discovery Fund Authority, a public-private partnership intended to advance life sciences research in the state.
A particular focus during Dr. Huntsman’s tenure at the UW had been the identification and initiation of new interdisciplinary programs. Currently he is exploring ways the UW and Washington state might become more agile and successful in the reinvention of health care.
Dr. Huntsman is a Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, the Biomedical Engineering Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.