Professor Tatem at the UN World Data Forum, Dubai, UAE, 2018

WorldPop to advise UK government on big data, machine learning and AI

Our director, Professor Andy Tatem has been appointed ‘Big data, machine learning and AI’ expert on the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office Research Advisory Group – a significant new role at the heart of an important government ministry.

The UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) Research Advisory Group (RAG) provides strategic guidance, rapid insights, and independent challenge to help achieve the FCDO’s ambitious global research and development objectives. Professor Tatem will join other internationally recognised academic experts to discuss FCDO science and research priority areas, guiding principles and, exploratory research, through the National Institute for Diplomacy and Development Research (NIDDR) mechanism. The research is problem focused and seeks to use the power of science and research to generate solutions to major development challenges and advise diplomatic work.

Professor Tatem’s research has led to pioneering approaches to the use and integration of satellite, survey, cell phone and census data to map the distributions and movement patterns of vulnerable populations for disease, disaster, and development applications. He runs our international collaborations with national governments, UN agencies and data providers, and leads multiple research and operational projects funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome Trust, World Bank, UN, GAVI, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation and others.

The RAG was particularly impressed with Andy’s breadth of expertise and work with data in the Global South. He will now meet regularly with other experts in global health, demography, energy, climate, agriculture, international relations and economics to help support the delivery of the UK’s International Development White Paper and Integrated Review.

“I am delighted to be joining the FCDO RAG as an expert in Big data, machine learning and AI and forming international collaborations with researchers and innovators from around the world. I look forward to working with colleagues to play an important role in providing expert strategic guidance, rapid insight, and independent challenge to shape FCDO’s research investments.”
Portrait phot of Andy Tatem
Professor Andy Tatem
Director, WorldPop

Main image: Professor Tatem speaking at the UN World Data Forum, Dubai, UAE.