Dr. Alastair Ager holds academic appointments as Director of the Institute for Global Health and Development at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh (where he is Director of the NIHR Research Unit on Health in Situations of Fragility) and as Professor with the Department of Population and Family Health at Columbia University. From 2017 to 2020 he served as the Deputy Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Department for International Development.
Dr. Ager has worked in the field of global health and development for over thirty years, after originally training in psychology at the universities of Keele, Wales and Birmingham in the UK. He was formerly Head of the Department of Psychology at the University of Malawi; Director of the Centre for International Health Studies at Queen Margaret; Senior Research Manager for DFID; and Executive Director of the Global Health Initiative at Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University. He has worked as a consultant and researcher across sub-Saharan Africa, south Asia, the Middle-East, Europe and North America, with a broad range of agencies including UNICEF, UNHCR, WHO, Oxfam, Save the Children, World Vision, Lutheran World Federation and Islamic Relief Worldwide.
Dr. Ager is author of over one hundred scholarly publications. He is active in several areas of research including: health systems strengthening; the evaluation of humanitarian programming (particularly with regard to protection and psychosocial support of refugee children); the engagement of local faith communities in supporting humanitarian response. He is particularly active in advising in the area of policy development and in public engagement with science. He was appointed a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in March 2019.