Harvey Whiteford is Professor of Population Mental Health at the University of Queensland, Australia and Professor of Global Health at the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington, Seattle, USA. He trained in medicine, psychiatry, public health and health policy in Queensland, at Stanford University in California and the Australian National University in Canberra. He has held senior clinical and administrative positions including those of Director of Mental Health in the Queensland and Federal governments in Australia and at the World Bank in Washington DC. His expertise is in psychiatric epidemiology, burden of disease modelling, mental health policy analysis and service development. Dr Whiteford currently leads the Policy and Epidemiology Group at the Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research, an NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in mental health and the team responsible for mental and substance use disorders in the Global Burden of Disease Studies.