Alastair Ager, PhD, has worked in the field of international health and development for nearly 25 years, after originally training in psychology at the Universities of Keele, Wales and Birmingham in the UK. He was head of the Department of Psychology at the University of Malawi from 1989 until 1992 and Foundation Director of the Institute of International Health and Development at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh until 2004. Before joining Columbia, Dr. Ager worked as Senior Research Manager for the UK Department for International Development, with responsibility for the agency's global portfolio of health and education research. Since joining Columbia, he has served as Research Director of the Care and Protection of Children in Crisis program (2005-2008) and, from 2009 to 2012, as the Executive Director of the Global Health Initiative at the Mailman School. In 2012 he was appointed Director of Academic Programs in the Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health, and Director of the new DrPH program in Leadership in Global Health and Humanitarian Systems.
Dr. Ager is author of over one hundred scholarly publications, and has wide international experience as a lecturer, researcher and consultant across sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, Europe and North America, working with a range of intergovernmental, non-governmental and governmental agencies. His current research and writing is focused in the areas of refugee mental health, psychosocial well-being and child protection; the planning and evaluation of health and social care programs; the role of research in humanitarian and development assistance; and the role of faith communities in supporting recovery.