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A short seminar series where guest speakers from different health policy settings are invited to discuss their time in their policy role and advise on research areas of health economics that would be most impactful if they had their time again.



Bill English

DATE AND TIME: 10-11am, 8 May 2024


 “From data streams to public policy dreams: Sir Bill English on the benefits of greater data integration and linkage in New Zealand”

 Sir Bill English, Former Prime Minister of New Zealand.

 Bio: Sir Bill English was the 39th Prime Minister of New Zealand from 2016 to 2017 and the leader of the National Party prior to standing down from politics in March 2018. He previously held a range of Ministerial portfolios, including Finance, Health and had roles in education, housing and revenue. He was responsible for sponsoring the development of the integrated data system (IDI) in New Zealand, which agencies and researchers now use to expand the evidence base for public policy decisions. He has a long-term interest in customer focussed innovation in social and health services. Since leaving office, he has been involved in a range of businesses and charities in Australia and New Zealand including the founding of ImpactLab, which measures the social return on investment for charities and philanthropy funders.

 To Join: This is a free event, which will be taking place online via Zoom/Microsoft Teams. Register



David Gruen

DATE AND TIME: Afternoon 26 June 2024

LOCATION: Richard Doll Lecture Theatre, Richard Doll Building, Old Road Campus, Oxford University, OX3 7LF

 “Data linkage and integration to improve the evidence base for public policy: lessons from the Australian experience”

 Dr David Gruen, the Australian Statistician at the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

 Bio: As the Australian Statistician, Dr David Gruen leads the functions and operations at the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Prior to joining the Australian Bureau of Statistics, he was the Deputy Secretary, Economic and Australia’s G20 Sherpa at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Before this, he held the position of Executive Director of the Macroeconomic Group at the Australian Treasury and was the head of the Economic Research Department of the Reserve Bank of Australia from 1998 to 2002. He has been instrumental in bringing about greater data linkage and integration in Australia so that researchers and government agencies can provide greater evidence for public policy development. 


Veline L'Esperance


DATE AND TIME: 4-5pm, 6 June 2024 - Dr Veline L'Esperance

LOCATION: Hybrid - further details to be confirmed.




Eric SunDATE AND TIME 17 July 2024

LOCATION: Hybrid -  further details to be confirmed.

“Policymaking during the COVID-19 pandemic: reflections from a Year at the Council of Economic Advisers”

Eric Sun, Assistant Professor and Associate Division Chief, Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine. 

Bio: Eric Sun (MD/PhD) is an assistant professor and Associate Division Chief in the Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine at the Stanford University School of Medicine. His research interests, for which he receives funding from the National Institutes of Health, include the economics of surgical care as well as the economics of opioid use in the United States. His work has been featured in journals such as JAMA, JAMA Internal Medicine, Annals of Internal Medicine, the BMJ, Health Affairs, the Journal of Public Economics, the Journal of Health Economics, and the Journal of Economic Perspectives. 

From 2019-2020, he served as a senior economist at the Council of Economic Advisers, where he advised senior White House administration officials on matters related to health policy. Dr Sun received a MD from the Pritzker School of Medicine and a PhD in business economics from the Booth Graduate School of Business, both of which are at the University of Chicago. He completed a residency in anesthesiology at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Hosted by the REAL Demand and Supply Units, HERC, University of Oxford and CHE, University of York. Supported by the Health Foundation.




Ellen Van de Poel

 “Reaching universal health coverage: lessons from the field”

 Senior economist Dr Ellen Van de Poel from the World Bank Group. 

 Bio: Ellen Van de Poel is a senior health economist in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region at the World Bank. She is based in Morocco where she manages the World Bank’s health portfolio and leads on regional efforts in relation to health financing.



Gus O'Donnell

 "Wellbeing-adjusted life years (WELBYs) in policy and practice"

Lord Gus O’Donnell, former Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service. 

Bio: Gus O'Donnell was Cabinet Secretary and Head of the British Civil Service from 2005-2011 and in 2010, he oversaw the introduction of the first coalition government since the Second World War. He oversaw the introduction by the Office of National Statistics of the UK’s national wellbeing data.







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REAL centre logo HERC.pngCentre for Health Economics, University of York