Ageing and life-course

Ritu Sadana, MSc ScD

Photo of Ritu Sadana

Senior Health Adviser



  • Metrics, monitoring and research
  • Global research agenda
  • Evidence based policy and capacity development

Ritu Sadana holds a MSc focusing on health systems and policies research methods, from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), and a doctorate (ScD) focusing on health policy, epidemiology, and economics from Harvard University. She joined the World Health Organization in 1988 and worked in the Regional Office for Europe for five years before moving to Headquarters in 1998. In between, she set up and managed a multi-disciplinary research capacity strengthening project in Cambodia (1993-1998).

At WHO Headquarters she led teams on Health Status Measurement (1999-2002) where she contributed to the development and testing of the WHO World Health Survey in 70 countries; and on the Health Research Systems Analysis Initiative (2002-2004). Between 2005 and 2006 she was the Senior Scientist and Policy Analyst, within the Office of the Assistant Director-General, Information, Evidence and Research Cluster. Ritu was the Coordinator of the Equity Analysis and Evidence Unit (2006-2011) where she managed WHO’s analytical and evidence synthesis contributions involving 150 institutions, to the WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health.

Actively engaged with Regional Offices, she was co-editor and author of Health Inequalities in the African Region of the World Health Organization, in 2010, and as Editor-in-Chief of The European Health Report 2012: charting the way to well-being. She also set up and managed the WHO Task Force on Global Research Priorities on Health Equity, and the WHO Consultative Group on Equity and Universal Health Coverage.

In 2013, Ritu joined the WHO Department of Ageing and Life Course, and coordinated the development of the Global strategy and action plan on ageing and health, adopted by the World Health Assembly in May 2016. She is coordinating WHO’s work on metrics, monitoring and research on healthy ageing, and extending partnerships, including revitalizing a global network of WHO Collaborating Centres on Ageing and Health. She currently serves as an editorial advisor for The Bulletin of the World Health Organization and has over 100 scientific and policy publications.