Dr Ruitai Shao holds a medical degree in medical science and a master’s degree in social medicine & health management from Peking University, and a PhD in public health management from Fudan University. He has many years of experience as a senior public health specialist in China, vice president of the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine, Deputy Director-General of the department for the prevention and control of both communicable and noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), and in public health strategies, policies and plans in the Ministry of Health. At the World Health Organization (WHO), he has been working on NCD prevention and control with focus on national NCD plans, polices and NCD research and innovation with focus on implementation research. He has worked with more than 30 countries on the development of their national multisectoral action plans for NCD prevention and control using the WHO NCD MSAP toolkit developed under his supervision. He is also working with countries to identify gaps, barriers and challenges using implementation research methods and strategies to address these issues. Prior to this, he coordinated the WHO global forum on NCD prevention and control and managed the integrated NCD prevention and control programme. He also coordinated a WHO study on the effectiveness of community-based programmes for integrated NCD prevention and control in several countries.