Alessandro R Demaio

Medical Doctor; CEO of VicHealth; Fellow in Global Health & NCDs, University of Copenhagen

Sandro trained and worked as a medical doctor at The Alfred Hospital in Australia. While practising as a doctor he completed a Master in Public Health including fieldwork to prevent diabetes through Buddhist Wats in Cambodia.

In 2010, he relocated to Denmark where he completed a PhD with the University of Copenhagen, focusing on noncommunicable diseases. His doctoral research was based in Mongolia, working with the Ministry of Health. He designed, led and reported a national epidemiological survey, sampling more than 3500 households.

Sandro held a Postdoctoral Fellowship at Harvard Medical School from 2013 to 2015, and was assistant professor and course director in global health at the Copenhagen School of Global Health, in Denmark. He established and led the PLOS blog Global Health, and served on the founding Advisory Board of the EAT Foundation: the global, multistakeholder platform for food, health and environmental sustainability.

To date, he has authored over 23 scientific publications and more than 110 articles.

In his pro bono work, Dr Demaio co-founded NCDFREE, a global social movement against noncommunicable diseases using social media, short film and leadership events – crowdfunded, it reached more than 2.5 million people in its first 18 months. Then, in 2015, he founded festival21, assembling and leading a team of knowledge leaders in staging a massive and unprecedented, free celebration of community, food, culture and future in his hometown Melbourne.

In November 2015, Sandro joined the Department of Nutrition for Health and Development at the World Health Organization’s global headquarters, as Medical Officer for noncommunicable conditions and nutrition.

From 2017, Dr Demaio is also co-host of the ABC television show Ask the Doctor – an innovative and exploratory factual medical series broadcasting weekly across Australia.

Since September 2019, Sandro is the CEO of VicHealth.


  • 2013–present
    Advisory Board Member, EAT Initiative
  • 2015–present
    External Lecturer, Copenhagen School of Global Health
  • 2015–present
    Medical Officer , World Health Organization
  • 2013–2015
    Postdoctoral Fellow in Global Health and NCDs, Harvard Medical School
  • 2010–2013
    PhD Fellow in Global Health, The University of Copenhagen
  • 2012–2012
    Visiting Researcher, Global Health, The University of Melbourne
  • 2009–2010
    Medical Doctor, The Alfred Hospital
  • 2008–2010
    Board Director, Youth Empowerment Against HIV&AIDS (YEAH), Australia


  • 2015 
    Harvard Medical School, Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • 2013 
    University of Copenhagen, PhD
  • 2010 
    Monash University, MPH
  • 2008 
    Monash University, MBBS (Medical Doctor)

Research Areas

  • Public Health And Health Services (1117)
  • Health Promotion (111712)
  • Health Policy (160508)
  • Epidemiology (111706)
  • Economic Development Policy (160505)
  • Economic Development And Growth (140202)
  • Preventive Medicine (111716)