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Philip Setel

Vice President, Civil Registration and Vital Statistics


  • Civil registration and vital statistics
  • Burden of disease
  • Medical anthropology
  • Verbal autopsy

Philip Setel, Ph.D., directs the Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Program at Vital Strategies, where he leads the organization’s work to empower governments to count every life and use data strategically to target resources and policies that improve health and opportunities for their people. 

Setel brings over 20 years’ experience in designing, leading, implementing and supporting monitoring, learning, and evaluation projects in the fields of epidemiology, demography and health care. He has a specific focus on methods for longitudinal measures of impact, including mortality and causes of death. His achievements include his work being used to inform the decisions, policies and strategies of donors, public health organizations and governments in countries including Tanzania, India, Mozambique, and Papua New Guinea. He brings this expertise to Vital Strategies’ Civil Registration and Vital Statistics work under the Bloomberg Data for Health Initiative, funded by the Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Australian Government. His team provides technical assistance to improve civil registration and vital statistics systems and the understanding and use of data for public health policymaking in twenty low- and middle-income countries.  

Before joining Vital Strategies, Setel was an independent consultant providing services on the evaluation of strategic plans, evaluation design, and evaluability studies for organizations including the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria; The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF); the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation; and The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Prior to this, he served in Director and Deputy-Director roles at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Newcastle University (UK). Setel earned his Ph.D. in Medical Anthropology from Boston University.