Margie Peden served as WHO Coordinator for Unintentional Injury Prevention for more than 17 years. Under her leadership, she oversaw development of many of the world’s most important guidance documents on road safety. This includes most recently the 2017 WHO SaveLIVES: a road safety technical package; 2015, 2013 and 2009 global status reports on road safety; a number of manuals for decision-makers and practitioners on key road safety risks such as speeding and drinking and driving; and the 2004 WHO/World Bank World report on road traffic injury prevention launched that year on the annual World Health Day. During her time with WHO, Dr Peden was also instrumental to the preparation and hosting of two ministerial conferences on road safety, in Brazil in 2015 and in the Russian Federation in 2009.
In addition she provided valuable support to other high-profile events, including the launch of the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 and four global road safety weeks. Her efforts have been integral to the progress made in global road safety for nearly two decades. Prior to commencing her work at WHO in 2000, Dr Peden served for 7 years as a senior scientist at the Medical Research Council in Cape Town, South Africa where she was involved in the development of the county’s injury surveillance system. Dr Peden started her career in public health as a nurse, describing her experiences taking care of patients in emergency rooms as an inspiration for her later work; in those settings she witnessed the tragic consequences of road traffic crashes for victims and their families. It was the stories of children killed and seriously injured on the roads which made a lasting impression on her.
Today Dr Peden continues to show leadership for road safety through her work on road traffic injury prevention in her new roles with the George Institute for Global Health, the University of New South Wales, and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health as well as co-director of the WHO Collaborating Centre on Injury Prevention and Trauma Care.