Francesca Colombo, M.Sc., is Head of the Health Division at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. She is responsible for work on health, which aims at providing internationally comparable data on health systems and applying economic analysis to health policies, advising policy makers, stakeholders and citizens on how to respond to demands for more and better health care and make health systems more people centred.

Major activities of the OECD Health Division cover trends in health spending; measuring of health care outcomes, activities and inputs; health care quality policies; assessing health system efficiency and value for money; long-term care systems and ageing; the economics of public health; pharmaceutical policies, new technologies and big data in health; and health workforce. Major publications resulting from the work of the Division she manages includes Health at a Glance, Tackling Wasteful Spending on Health, New Health Technologies, Tackling Harmful Alcohol Use, Making Mental Health Count, Health Data Governance, and Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes: Policies for Better Health and Quality of Care (More at

Mrs Colombo has over 20 years of experience leading international activities on health and health systems. She has led projects covering a wide range of topics, including quality of health care policies, health financing and the impact of private health insurance on health systems, health workforce and the international migration of doctors and nurses. She has been responsible for the OECD Asian Social and Health activities with non-member countries, working with the OECD/Korea Policy Centre. She is a leading international expert on health and care issues for elderly populations and also held responsibilities for co-ordinating OECD involvement at high-level meetings such as on diabetes, dementia and health workforce. Mrs Colombo joined the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in 1999.

Prior to that, she was seconded to the Ministry of Health and Labour of Guyana as acting head of the Planning Unit, where she was instrumental to the implementation of financing and governance reforms of the health system, and also worked at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. Over her career, she has travelled extensively in Europe, South America and Asia, advising governments on health system policies and reforms. She holds a M.Sc. in development studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science and B.Sc. in economics and management from Bocconi University.