Charlotte Watts is Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Department for International Development (DFID). In this role she is Director of the Research and Evidence Division and Head of the Science and Engineering Profession for DFID.
Professor Watts is seconded to DFID from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), where she is Professor of Social and Mathematical Epidemiology. Originally trained as a mathematician, with a PhD in Theoretical Mathematics from the University of Warwick, she became interested in global health whilst conducting post-doctoral research on the epidemiology of HIV at the University of Oxford. Moving to LSHTM in 1994, after gaining further training in economics and social science, and fieldwork experience in Zimbabwe and other developing countries. she founded the Social and Mathematical Epidemiology Group. This multidisciplinary group uses mathematical, epidemiological and economic research to assess the impact of current and new HIV prevention technologies, and evaluate interventions that tackle the determinants of HIV risk.
Professor Watts is a global expert in violence prevention. She was Senior Technical Advisor to the WHO 10 country population surveys on women’s health and domestic violence; led the systematic review of the global prevalence and health burden of interpersonal violence, and has been senior researcher on five cluster randomised controlled intervention trials in sub-Saharan Africa showing that violence is preventable.
Professor Watts is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, and Foreign Associate Member of the US National Academy of Medicine. She has 200 academic publications, and has served on numerous UN technical and Government advisory boards.