Plenary Speaker

Alana Officer, Unit Head, Demographic Change and Healthy Ageing, World Health Organization
Geneva, Switzerland

Alana Officer

Alana Officer holds a degree in Health Science (Podiatric Medicine) and Masters degrees in Applied Science – Exercise and Sports Science (research) and Public Health. Alana started her career as a clinician in Australia and England before holding a number of technical and managerial positions working on disability, ageing, health and development in West and Central Africa, Europe, South Asia, the Middle East and the Western Pacific. Alana joined WHO in 2006 as the Coordinator for the Disability and Rehabilitation Team (DAR) until 2014 where she led the development of such landmark resources as the WHO Global disability action plan 2014–2021: Better health for all people with disability (2014), The International Perspectives on Spinal Cord Injury (2013), the World report on disability (2011) and the Guidelines on community-based rehabilitation (2010) amongst many others.

Alana joined WHOs ageing team in 2014 to lead the development of the World report on ageing and health, which was published in October 2015 and to support the development of the Global strategy and action plan on ageing and health. She was also responsible for developing the Organization’s work on age-friendly environments. In January 2020, Alana became the head of a new unit in WHO on Demographic Change and Healthy Ageing (DHA). In this role she coordinates the Secretariat for the United Nations Decade of Healthy Ageing—a global collaboration to improve the lives of older people, their families and communities—as well as the related knowledge Platform on ageing. Alana continues to oversee the Organization’s work on age-friendly physical and social environments, including the Global Network for Age-friendly Cities and Communities and the Global Campaign to Combat Ageism.


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