Professor Charlotte Watts is Chief Scientific Adviser and Director for Research and Evidence at the UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). She is seconded from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, where she is Professor of Social and Mathematical Epidemiology.
Charlotte is the most senior scientist in FCDO, with responsibility for providing scientific advice to the Foreign Secretary, Ministers, the Permanent Under-Secretary and Executive Committee, including during the COVID-19 pandemic and other emergencies. She heads the Research and Evidence Directorate, that brings together leadership of FCDO’s expert geopolitical and development advisors, FCDO’s significant research and technology development investments, and jointly oversees (with the Department of Science, Innovation and Technology) the UK’s overseas science and innovation diplomatic network.
Charlotte has a PhD in mathematics, with further training in public health. In her academic career, prior to joining UK Government, she made important contributions in infectious disease epidemiology, HIV prevention, and violence research, including showing that domestic violence is preventable. She is a Fellow of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences and Foreign Associate Member of the US National Academy of Medicine. In 2019 was appointed a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.