WHO Tobacco Free Initiative
Dr Douglas Bettcher, Director of WHO's Tobacco Free Initiative
Douglas Bettcher is Director of WHO's Tobacco Free Initiative department in Geneva. As such he supervises WHO's global programme on tobacco control.
Dr Bettcher was Coordinator of the WHO's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Office in Geneva from 1998 to 2007.
He has a multidisciplinary background, holding a doctorate in International Relations and a Graduate Diploma in World Politics, both from the London School of Economics and Political Science; a master’s degree in Public Health (with a focus on developing countries) from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; and a doctor of medicine degree from the University of Alberta, Canada.
He currently sits on the editorial board of WHO's scientific journal Bulletin of the World Health Organization. He has served as vice-chair of the public health interest group of the American Society of International Law and as a member of the editorial board of the journal Global Governance.
He has written widely on several topics, including globalization and health, foreign policy and health security, international law and public health, tobacco control, tobacco product regulation, noncommunicable diseases prevention and control and trade and health policy issues. He has international and country-level experience (in both developing and developed countries) in tobacco control.
As Coordinator of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Office he was WHO's principal focal point for providing Secretariat support for the negotiation of WHO's first treaty, the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), for managing interim Secretariat support to Parties and for providing technical support to assist in the implementation of the treaty.
As Director, he is responsible for coordinating the work of the Tobacco Free Initiative with the Convention Secretariat to support the comprehensive implementation of the WHO FCTC, for the scaling up of WHO's country-level tobacco control work as one of five partners in the Bloomberg Initiative for Reducing Tobacco Use and for overseeing the implementation of the new WHO project to establish a capacity building resource center for tobacco control in Africa, which is supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
He has worked in the areas of clinical medicine, public health and, international health policy in a number of countries, notably in developing countries, including Ethiopia and Jamaica.