Researcher biography

My interests are in how to measure the burden of mental and substance use disorders in the population, and how to improve the health system to efficiently and equitably reduce that burden.

Professor Whiteford trained in medicine, psychiatry and health policy at the University of Queensland, Stanford University and the Australian National University. He has held senior clinical and administrative positions, including those of Director of Mental Health in the Queensland and Federal governments in Australia. He worked for ten years on the design and implementation of Australia's Mental Health Strategy and was Chairman of the Working Group which oversaw this initiative. In 1999 he was appointed to the first mental health position in the World Bank in Washington DC with the task of developing the Bank's capacity to respond to the rising global burden of mental, neurological and substance use disorders.

Professor Whiteford leads the Policy and Epidemiology Group at the Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research which has a research program in psychiatric epidemiology, burden of disease, mental health policy analysis and the reform of mental health services.

He has worked as a consultant to national governments, Commonwealth and State governments in Australia, the World Bank and the World Health Organisation.

He has clinical responsibilities in general adult psychiatry, teaches undergraduate and postgraduate students.