Ali H Mokdad

Adjunct Professor, Epidemiology
Professor, Health Metrics Sciences



PhD Quantitative Epidemiology, Emory University, 1997
BS Biostatistics, American University of Beirut, 1984



Box 351615
3980 15th Ave NE
Seattle, WA 98195
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Ali H. Mokdad, PhD, is a Professor of Health Metrics Sciences at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) and Chief Strategy Officer of Population Health at the University of Washington. The Population Health Initiative was launched by President Ana Mari Cauce to create a shared vision for improving the health and well-being of populations locally and around the world.

As a public health researcher, Dr. Mokdad has published groundbreaking work on local-level disease trends and some of the leading risk factors for poor health. He has worked extensively on health disparities in the United States and published on the burden of diseases, injuries, and risk factors at the state and national level.

As Director of Middle Eastern Initiatives for IHME, Dr. Mokdad builds IHME's presence in the Middle East through new research projects, dissemination and uptake of IHME's methods and results, and consultations with regional leaders in population health. 

Dr. Mokdad is the principal investigator (PI) for several important initiatives:

  • Salud Mesoamérica Initiative: providing independent evaluation for the public-private partnership between the Mesoamerican countries, private foundations, and bilateral donors; seeks to reduce inequities in the coverage of basic health services among the poorest populations in Mesoamerica.
  • “Visualizing the impact and cost of interventions on future projections of diarrhea burden”: providing 25 years of forecasting for diarrheal disease burden and a simulation for the cost-effectiveness of known and developing interventions.
  • Regional Malaria Elimination Initiative (RMEI): evaluating malaria programs in several Latin American and Caribbean nations; part of a project funded by the Inter-American Development Bank, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Carlos Slim Foundation, and The Global Fund.
  • Dr. Mokdad also manages the NIH’s National Institute of Minority Health and Disparities contract to highlight disparities in health outcomes at the county level across race/ethnicity and socioeconomic groups in the US, including measures related to mortality, incidence, prevalence and the impact of diseases, injuries, and risk factors.

Prior to joining IHME, Dr. Mokdad worked at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), starting his career there in 1990. He served in numerous positions with the International Health Program; the Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity; the National Immunization Program; and the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, where he was Chief of the Behavioral Surveillance Branch.

He also managed and directed the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), the world’s largest standardized telephone survey, which enables the CDC, state health departments, and other health and education agencies to monitor risk behaviors related to the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in the United States. He developed and implemented methods for multi-mode data collection using address-based sampling, mail, web, and cellular telephone approaches.

Dr. Mokdad has published more than 650 articles and numerous reports. He has received several awards, including:
  • The Global Health Achievement Award for his work in Banda Aceh after the tsunami
  • The Department of Health and Human Services Honor Award for his work on flu monitoring
  • The Shepard Award for outstanding scientific contribution to public health for his work on BRFSS
  • The Warren J. Mitofsky Innovators Award from the American Association for Public Opinion Research for innovation in research on address-based sampling

He received his BS in Biostatistics from the American University of Beirut and his PhD in Quantitative Epidemiology from Emory University.

IHME was founded in 2007 at the University of Washington. Its mission is to deliver to the world timely, relevant, and scientifically valid evidence to improve health policy and practice.

Research Interests

Chronic Diseases; obesity; surveillance; survey methodology; emergency and refugee health