University of Minnesota

Robert Beaglehole, M.D., MPH, Ph.D.

Born: 1945

Bob Beaglehole and his wife Ruth Bonita have had central roles in CVD and noncommunicaable disease (NCD) epidemiology since the 1960s, making pioneer contributions in every conceivable approach to CVD risk factors and with special leadership in tobacco, salt, diet and lipids, multifactor risk, NCD trends, and life-course epidemiology. Consolidating their basic contribution in a popular text “Basic Epidemiology,’ they early evolved a global view of public health, the social and economic determinants of disease, and issues of efficacy, equity, and sustainability of public health promotion, culminating in another book, “Public Health at the Crossroads.”

Beaglehole’s training was in medicine, epidemiology, and public health in New Zealand and the United States. From 1988-1999, he was a Professor of Community Health of the University of Aukland, New Zealand and from 2004-2007 directed Chronic Disease and Health Promotion at WHO. He developed an integrated approach to the prevention and control of chronic diseases which led to the Bangkok Charter on Health Promotion in a Globalized World and to the global strategy of the current UN ‘25×25 Global Road Map’ among countries committed to reduce NCD 25% by 2025.

Currently, he is co-director of International Public Health Consultants and Professor Emeritus of the University of Auckland. He and Ruth Bonita were recently recognized by the Government of New Zealand for their contribution to public health, a fitting, if late consequence of their chance meeting aboardship en route to student projects in the Republic of China in the 1960s. (KR & HB)