Geoffrey T. Fong
OC, Ph.D., FRSC, FCAHS
Founder and Chief Principal Investigator of the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project
Professor, Department of Psychology and School of Public Health Sciences, University of Waterloo
Senior Investigator at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, Canada
Dr. Fong is Professor in the Department of Psychology and School of Public Health Sciences at the University of Waterloo and Founder and Chief Principal Investigator of the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project (the ITC Project). He received his B.A. in psychology from Stanford University and his Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of Michigan and has held faculty positions at Northwestern University and Princeton University.
Dr. Fong conducted research on the effects of alcohol intoxication on risky health behaviours (e.g., risky sex), and on the creation, implementation, and evaluation (using randomized controlled trials) of behavioural interventions to reduce HIV/STD risk among inner-city adolescents, before focusing on tobacco control. The mission of the ITC Project is to conduct rigorous evaluation of the psychosocial and behavioural effects of national-level tobacco control policies of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, the first-ever international treaty on health. In all, the ITC Project is conducting large-scale annual prospective cohort surveys of tobacco use to evaluate FCTC policies in countries inhabited by over 50% of the world's population, 60% of the world's smokers, and 70% of the world's tobacco users. The ITC Project is playing a role in establishing the evidence base for the FCTC. According to SciVal, the world’s most extensive research performance metrics system, Dr. Fong is the most productive researcher in the world in tobacco research, and 6 of the top 10 most productive tobacco researchers are members of the ITC Project.
Dr. Fong is a founding member of the Scientific Leadership Team that created the US FDA’s Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Project. Dr. Fong has contributed to major reports of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), U.S. Surgeon General, WHO, the US National Academy of Sciences, and the US National Cancer Institute. He was one of the three Scientific Editors (with Frank Chalopuka and Ayda Yurekli) of the 2016 WHO/NCI Monograph on The Economics of Tobacco and Tobacco Control. Dr. Fong was a member of the 7-person WHO FCTC Impact Assessment Expert Group, serving as its Technical Coordinator, which conducted the official impact assessment of the treaty over its first decade (2005-15). Dr. Fong has served as an expert consultant for WHO and for many countries including Canada, Australia, Brazil, the United Kingdom, and Singapore. Dr. Fong has served as an expert for Australia and Uruguay in their successful defenses of policies challenged via trade treaties. He was a member of Canada’s Vaping Products Scientific Advisory Board and is a current member of the WHO Expert Group on COVID-19 and Tobacco Use.
Among Dr. Fong’s awards are the 2009 Top Canadian Achievement in Health Research, the 2011 Knowledge Translation Award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), a 2013 WHO World No Tobacco Day Award, a 2015 Luther L. Terry Award for Outstanding Research Contribution from the American Cancer Society (a triennial global award), the 2017 Policy Impact Award from the American Association for Public Opinion Research, the 2019 John Slade Award from the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco, the 2019 Medal of Honour from the Health Research Foundation (Dr. Fong is the 27th recipient of this award, which was first presented in 1945 to Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of penicillin; other recipients include Charles Best, Wilder Penfield, Julio Montaner, David Jenkins, and Brian Mulroney), the 2020 O. Harold Warwick Award from the Canadian Cancer Society, and the 2021 Governor General’s Innovation Award, a prestigious award that “encompasses all sectors of Canadian society” and is given to “individuals, teams and/or organizations whose innovations are truly exceptional, transformative, and positive in their impact on quality of life in Canada”. For the past 7 years, Dr. Fong has been named to the Clarivate Analytics List of “Most Highly Cited Researchers.” Dr. Fong is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, the Association for Psychological Science, and the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco. In 2021, Dr. Fong was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada.