Director General and Chief Scientist, Directorate of Health, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland
Professor Harper is Special Adviser to the Assistant Director-General for Health Security and Environment at the World Health Organization Headquarters in Geneva. His principal role is to advise on Global Preparedness for Health Security.
Prior to his current appointment in March 2012, he was Director General for Health Improvement and Protection in the UK Department of Health. He was also the Chief Scientist and Head of Profession for Scientists. He is a Fellow of the Society of Biology, a Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health of the Royal College of Physicians, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Public Health. He was awarded the Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2002. He has an honorary Professorship at the University of Dundee, and an honorary Doctor of Science from Cranfield University.
A scientist by training, he graduated in microbiology from the University of Dundee and gained his PhD in biochemistry from the University of Birmingham. He worked as Head of the Microbiology Unit at the Metropolitan Police Forensic Science Laboratory before joining the Department of Health in 1989.