Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Infectious Disease

Visiting Professor



+44 (0)20 7594 9160r.atun Website




289aBusiness School BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Dr Rifat Atun is Professor of Global Health Systems at Harvard University. He is the Faculty Chair for Harvard Ministerial Leadership Program.

In 2006-13, Dr Atun was Professor of International Health Management and Head of the Health Management Group at Imperial College London. He is an Honorary Professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, a Visiting Professor at the University of Kyoto in Japan and a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Fukushima in Japan. In 2008-12 he served as a member of the Executive Management Team of The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria as the Director of Strategy, Performance and Evaluation Cluster.

Dr Atun's research focuses on the design and implementation of health systems transformations and their impact on outcomes. His research also explores adoption and diffusion of innovations in health systems (e.g. health technologies, disease control programmes, and primary healthcare reforms), and innovative financing in global health. Organization. Rifat is a co-Investigator and the joint lead for the innovation work stream at the National Centre for Infection Prevention and Management at Imperial College. He is also a co-Investigator and the Theme Lead for 'Organisational Change, Sustainability and Evaluation' at Imperial College and Cambridge University Health Protection Research Unit for Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare Associated Infection. He has published more than 375 papers in leading journals, including NEJM, JAMA, Lancet, Lancet Oncology, PLoS Medicine, Lancet Infectious Diseases, and the Academy of Management Journal. 

Rifat has worked with several governments globally and with the World Bank, World Health Organization, and the UK Department for International Development to design, implement and evaluate health system reform initiatives in more than 20 countries. He has been involved in projects for Merck, Novartis, GSK, Pfizer Inc., the Vodafone Group, Hofmann La Roche, and Medtronic.

Dr Atun is a Member, The Longitude Prize Committee serves as a Member, of WHO Regional Director’s Advisory Council on Innovation for Noncommunicable Diseases (the NCD Advisory Council). Dr Atun was a member of the MRC Global Health Group as the MRC Infections and Immunity Board representative. He served as  a member of the PEPFAR Scientific Advisory Board, the Norwegian Research Council's Global Health and Vaccination Research (GLOBVAC) Board, the Research Advisory Committee for the Public Health Foundation of India, and the US Institute of Medicine USAID Standing Committee on Strengthening Health Systems. In 2006-08 he served as a Member of the Advisory Committee for WHO Research Centre for Health Development in Japan. He was member of the Strategic Technical Advisory Group of the WHO for Tuberculosis and chaired the WHO Task Force on Health Systems and Tuberculosis Control. In 2009-12 he was the Chair of the STOP TB Partnership Coordinating Board. Most recently he was a senior advisor to the G20 Presidency.

Dr Atun was the Founding Director of the MSc in International Health Management, BSc in Management and Medical Science, and Founding Co-Director of the Masters in Public Health Programme at Imperial College. He has been a director of Imperial College spin out companies operating in areas of health technology. 

Dr Atun is a Fellow of the Royal College of General Practitioners (UK), Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health of the Royal College of Physicians (UK), and a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (UK).

Education / Qualifications:

  • MBBS (Medical Diploma): Guy´s and St Thomas´ Hospitals, University of London
  • MBA:  Executive MBA Programme, Management School, Imperial College London
  • DIC: Diploma in Management, Imperial College London
  • FRCGP : Fellow, Royal College of General Practitioners
  • FFPH: Fellow,Faculty of Public Health of the Royal College of Physicians (UK)
  • FRCP: Fellow, Royal College of Physicians (UK)



    Yerramsetti S, Cohen T, Atun R, et al., 2021, Global estimates of paediatric tuberculosis incidence in 2013-19: a mathematical modelling analysis., Lancet Glob Health

    Hricak H, Ward ZJ, Atun R, et al., 2021, Increasing Access to Imaging for Addressing the Global Cancer Epidemic., Radiology, Vol:301, Pages:543-546

    Knaul FM, Touchton M, Arreola-Ornelas H, et al., 2021, Punt Politics as Failure of Health System Stewardship: Evidence from the COVID-19 Pandemic Response in Brazil and Mexico., Lancet Reg Health Am, Vol:4

    Fleming KA, Horton S, Wilson ML, et al., 2021, The Lancet Commission on diagnostics: transforming access to diagnostics, Lancet, Vol:398, ISSN:0140-6736, Pages:1997-2050

    Kwete XJ, Berhane Y, Mwanyika-Sando M, et al., 2021, Health priority-setting for official development assistance in low-income and middle-income countries: a Best Fit Framework Synthesis study with primary data from Ethiopia, Nigeria and Tanzania, Bmc Public Health, Vol:21

    More Publications