• 1996   M.P.H., Law and Public Health, Harvard School of Public Health
  • 1991   J.D. cum laude, Harvard Law School
  • 1987   Sociology & Latin American Literature, A.B. summa cum laude, Harvard College


  • Bilingual English-Spanish
  • Portuguese and Italian reading proficiency

Current Positions:

Lecturer on Law and Global Health, Program Director JD/MPH program, and Policy Director, François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA

I.          Policy-oriented research relating to women’s and children’s health

  • Principal Investigator for a multi-country, quantitative/qualitative study on the impacts of maternal deaths on living children. The study aims to document the cumulative burden of maternal mortality on the family and the community, and to discover the roots of adverse outcomes or resilience in children whose mothers die in pregnancy or childbirth, and will create policy-relevant recommendations at national and international levels.

II.         Advocacy around international processes, norms, and institutions

  • Drafted the Technical Guidance on a Rights-Based Approach to Maternal Mortality and Morbidity for the UN OHCHR, which is the first concrete guidance on an RBA to be adopted through an inter-governmental process, by resolution of the UN Human Rights Council and sets a landmark precedent in terms of operationalizing RBAs
  • Developing a modular guidance on the implementation of the Technical Guidance, to provide stakeholders with specific operational tools to implement their obligations under the Technical Guidance.
  • Co-organizer of The Power of Numbers: A Critical Review of MDG Targets for Human Development and Human Rights, a project that investigates the impact of MDGs on policy. The project has received significant traction in policy circles in the lead-up to the setting of post-2015 agenda, and OHCHR, UNFPA and UN Women have consulted Yamin specifically for advice on goals, targets and indicators in the post 2015 agenda.

III.        Capacity-strengthening regarding legal enforcement of health rights

  • Creator and Director of the Global School on Socioeconomic Rights Course on Health Rights Litigation, an annual intensive training course for academics, students, and practitioners in strategic litigation relating to health rights, in particular those of women and children.
  • Strategically advises on virtually all landmark cases at national and international levels relating to women’s heath rights, including Alyne da Silva Pimentel v Brazil (CEDAW), Petition 16 (Uganda), and Laxmi Mandal (India).

Academic Appointments:

  • 2015-Present, Lecturer on Law, Harvard Law School
  • 2012-Present, Lecturer on Law and Global Health, Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
  • 2009-2012, Adjunct Lecturer on Health Policy and Management, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
  • 1996-2002, Assistant Professor of Clinical Public Health, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University

Other Academic Positions and Major Visiting Appointments:

  • 2014-Present, Policy Director, François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights, Harvard University, Boston/Cambridge, MA
  • 2014-Present, Associated Senior Researcher, Centre on Law and Social Transformation, University of Bergen, Norway
  • 2011-2014, Director, Program on the Health Rights of Women and Children, François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA
  • 2009-2012, Associated Senior Researcher, Christian Michelsen Institute, Bergen, Norway
  • 2007-2011, Joseph H. Flom Fellow on Global Health and Human Rights, Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA
  • 2010-2011, Adjunct Associate Professor of Human Rights Law, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, Medford, MA
  • 2008, 2010, Professor, University of Bergen Summer Research School, Bergen, Norway
  • 2003-2009, Instructor, Health Policy and Management, Harvard School of Public Health, Cambridge, MA
  • 1991-1993, Visiting Scholar and Professor, Department of Social Anthropology, Mexican National Institute of Anthropology and History

Honors and Distinctions:

  • 2015-Present, Appointed Commissioner on the Lancet-O’Neil Institute Commission on Global Health and the Law
  • 2015-2016, Visiting Gladstein Professorship of Human Rights, University of Connecticut
  • 2015-Present, Appointed by Constitutional Implementation Committee of Kenya as only non-Kenyan on Oversight Committee regarding activities to implement health rights
  • 2011-2013, Appointed by Colombian Constitutional Court as only non-Colombian Independent Expert on implementation of Judgment T 760/08
  • 2010, Ivan and Janice Stone Honorary Lectureship, Beloit College
  • 2009, “Smart Cookie” Award for Leadership in the Creation of Amnesty International’s Global Campaign on Maternal Mortality
  • 2008, UMass Memorial Women’s Health Summit, Distinguished Lectureship
  • 2007-11, Joseph H. Flom Fellowship on Global Health and Human Rights, Harvard Law School
  • 2001-02, Calderone Award for Outstanding Junior Faculty, Mailman school of Public Health
  • 1996, Samdperil Health Law Essay Award, Harvard School of Public Health
  • 1996, Francois-Xavier Bagnoud Health & Human Rights Essay Award, HSPH
  • 1991, Echoing Green Public Interest Fellowship
  • 1989, Andres Public Interest Grant, Harvard Law School
  • 1987, Phi Beta Kappa
  • 1987, Certificate of Achievement in Latin American Studies, Harvard College
  • 1985-87, John Harvard Scholarship, Harvard College
  • 1984-87, Elizabeth Cary Agassiz Scholarship, Harvard College

International Advisory and Steering Committees

  • 2014-Present, Advisory Group, UNRISD and ILO, Linking Social Protection and Human Rights
  • 2014-Present, Steering Committee, Global Child Poverty Coalition
  • 2014- Present, Steering Committee, World Bank Institute, Health to Rights: Initiative on Priority-Setting, Equity and Constitutional Mandates in Health [“SaluDerecho: Iniciativa sobre priorizacion, equidad y mandatos constitucionales en salud”]
  • 2013- 2014, Steering Committee, Measuring Advocacy for Policy Change: The Case for Respectful Maternity Care Steering Committee
  • 2013- 2014, World Bank Technical Advisory group for report on women’s voice, agency, and participation
  • 2013- Present, Academic Steering Committee for the Extraterritorial Obligations Consortium
  • 2013- 2014, Official Drafting Committee for the Framework Convention for Global Health and Editor of the special issue on the Framework Convention for Global Health
  • 2012- Present, Joint Action and Learning Initiative on National and Global Responsibilities for Health (JALI) Advisory Panel
  • 2012- 2014, WHO-led Initiative on Fairness in Achieving Universal Health Coverage
  • 2012- 2013, Reference Group for the ICPD Human Rights Conference
  • 2011- 2013, WHO Steering Committee on Evidence of Impact of Rights-Based Approaches to Women’s and Children’s Health
  • 2011, Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Commitments Report Advisory Panel

Professional Boards and Societies

  • 2013-Present, Advisory Board, International MotherBaby Childbirth Organization
  • 2012-Present, Member, Executive Committee, Beyond 2015
  • 2011-Present, Advisory Board, Fistula Foundation
  • 2001-Present, Board of Directors, Center for Economic and Social Rights, Spain/USA (Chair, 2009-2014; Vice-Chair, 2002-2008)
  • 2008-Present, Member, International Advisory Council, International Initiative on Maternal Mortality and Human Rights, USA
  • 2007-Present, Member, Steering Committee, Human Rights Ahead, Spain
  • 2004-Present, Member, Advisory Board, Program on Human Rights, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Peru
  • 2002-Present, Member, Advisory Committee, Center for Policy Analysis on Trade and Health (CPATH), USA
  • 2002-Present, Member, Advisory Board, MINGAPeru, Peru.
  • 1999-Present, Member, Advisory Board, EDHUCASalud (“Educación en Derechos Humanos con Aplicación en Salud” or Education in Human Rights with Applications in Health), Peru
  • 1997-Present, Member, American Public Health Association, USA
  • 2010-2012, Member, Reference Group, International Budget Partnership-Partnership Initiative
  • 2007-2008, Co-Chair, International Human Rights Committee, Boston Bar Association, USA
  • 2003-2007, Member, Advisory Board, Observatory on the Right to Health, Peru
  • 2004-2009, Member, Board of Directors, Mental Disability Rights International, USA
  • 2002-2005, Member, International Advisory Council, Physicians for Human Rights, USA
  • 1999-2002, Member, Committee on Scientific Freedom and Responsibility, American Association for the Advancement of Science, USA
  • 1997-2000, Member, International Society for Health and Human Rights, USA
  • 1996-2001, Member, Board of Directors, Physicians for Human Rights, USA
  • 1992-2005, Member, Association of the Bar of the City of New York (International Human Rights Committee, 1998-1999), USA

Editorial Boards:

  • Contributing Editor, Health and Human Rights: An International Journal
  • Editorial Review Board, Human Rights Quarterly
  • International Advisory Board, Human Rights and the Global Economy
  • Editorial Review Board, Revista Iberoamericana de Derechos Humanos
  • Executive Editor, Critical Concepts, Health and Human Rights: An International Journal, 2007–2010

Prior Experience:

  • 2007–2011, Joseph H. Flom Fellow on Global Health and Human Rights, Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA

Conducted fieldwork and research on the role of courts in enforcing and advancing health rights in various contexts, including Colombia.  Named as only non-Colombian “Independent Expert “ by Colombian Constitutional Court to advise regarding implementation of major judgment re-structuring health system (T 760/08).  Provided clinical supervision to law students relating to international human rights law. Organized three international symposia at Harvard Law School relating to: (i) the relevance of international human rights law to setting global health priorities; (ii) litigating health rights and equity in health systems, which formed the basis for Litigating Health Rights: Can Courts Bring More Justice to Health, an edited volume published in 2011; and (iii) the Millennium Development Goals and human rights which formed the basis for Millennium Development Goals and Human Rights: Past, Present and Future, an edited volume published in 2013.

  • 2008–2011, Special Adviser, Amnesty International’s global campaign on poverty: Demand Dignity

Helped to shape Amnesty’s strategy and global campaign on maternal mortality, and significantly contributed to shifting Amnesty International’s position to incorporate work on the advancement of economic and social rights, and health rights in particular. Participated in field investigations and advocacy, conducted internal trainings, and contributed to and reviewed reports relating to maternal mortality and the right to health in Peru, Sierra Leone, and the United States. Received 2009 “Smart Cookie Award” in recognition of global contributions to maternal health, on behalf of the Demand Dignity Campaign.

  • 2007–2010, Executive Editor, Critical Concepts, Health and Human Rights: An International Journal

Responsible for selection, substantive editing and overseeing copyediting of all scholarly articles for peer-reviewed international journal, as well as supervising managing editor and writing synthesis articles for each of first five issues of Journal under Editorship of Paul Farmer. Participated in managing and setting all policies and strategic direction of Journal.

  • 2005–2007, Director of Research and Investigations, Physicians for Human Rights, Cambridge, MA

Oversaw all field investigations for the organization, including designing and carrying out research projects, managing staff and budgets, and conducting advocacy and media work. Report on enhanced interrogations by US forces led to investigations of the use of psychologists including in Congressional hearings.

Researched and wrote report entitled Deadly Delays: Maternal Mortality in Peru (2007), which set the standard for mixed-methods investigations of maternal deaths, and led to changes in health budgets (process and allocations). Adopted the national protocol on obstetric emergencies and created the citizen surveillance program on maternal health in Puno, Peru, which has since been replicated elsewhere.

  • 2003–2004, Consultant on Health, Development and Human Rights Issues, with a focus on Latin America, Montevideo, Uruguay

Carried out research and advocacy projects for US, European and Latin American human rights non-governmental organizations including drafting amicus briefs (e.g. Hazel Tau v. GlaxoSmithKline and Boehringer Ingelheim, South Africa Competition Commission, 2003, which was instrumental early case in reforming pharmaceutical company pricing practices regarding antiretrovirals).

  • 1996–2003, Staff Attorney, Law and Policy Project, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY and Lima, Peru

Participated in evaluations and program planning for Averting Maternal Death and Disability Program (AMDD), and worked for AMDD in selecting site and setting up Project Femme with CARE Peru, including participating in trainings and baseline survey.

Co-founded Program on Human Rights and Health, Asociación Pro-Derechos Humanos. which led to the creation of  “mesas” (“task forces”) on thematic health topics, and then to a national civil society network on health rights, ForoSalud, which continues to actively monitor and advocate for health rights today, and is a widelycited model for social accountability.

  • 1993–1995, Associate (3rd -5th year), Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton, New York, NY

Drafted agreements in English and Spanish; supervised teams of associates; and participated in negotiations and closings. Pro Bono work included: drafting reports for Human Rights First; election monitoring for Freedom House; and a residential consultancy at rural health care center in Haryana, India.

  • 1991–1993, Echoing Green Public Interest Fellowship Mexico City, Mexico

Documented and brought case to UN Committee against Torture on systematic abuses by the Mexican Federal Judicial Police that contributed to removal of then-Attorney General Ignacio Morales Lechuga; significant policy changes regarding the tracking of placements of federal judicial police officers by the National Human Rights Commission; and the suspension, investigation and prosecution of multiple officers.

Published manual on the use of the Inter-American System for Mexican human rights advocates, which led to increased use of regional mechanism; served as human rights analyst for Human Rights Watch-Americas Division; worked with local human rights NGOs in documenting cases and conducting advocacy, including the Comisión Mexicana de Defensa y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos and the Human Rights Center of the Archdiocese of Mexico City.

Teaching Experience:

  • 2012-2014, Course Developer and Director/Lecturer, Global School on Socioeconomic Rights, FXB Center for Health and Human Rights, Boston, MA; Design and direct yearly intensive course on health rights litigation.
  • 2012-Present, Lecturer, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA; Developed and instructed field-based course, “The Right to Health in Resource-Poor Settings: Maternal Health in Tanzania,” and co-instructed field-based course, “Field Experience in Health and Human Rights.”
  •  2003–2012, Instructor, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA; Co-instructed lecture course, “Ethical Basis of the Practice of Public Health,” and lectured at, “Intensive Course on Health and Human Rights: Concepts, Implementation, and Impact.”
  • 2011, Adjunct Associate Professor of Human Rights Law, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, Medford, MA; Designed and taught advanced, post-graduate seminar on “Human Rights and Health.”
  • 2008, 2010, Professor, Bergen Summer Research School, Bergen, Norway; Developed and co-taught courses on “Advocacy of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights” and “The Right to Health in Resource-poor Settings” in intensive summer curriculum designed for doctoral students from around the globe.
  • 2005-2009, Lecturer, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA; Lectured on, “Beyond Reproductive Health.”
  • 1999-2002, Lecturer, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru; Lectured on, “Health and Human Rights.”
  • 1996–2002, Assistant Professor of Clinical Public Health, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY; Calderone Award for Outstanding Junior Faculty, 2001-02. Designed syllabus and co-taught course on “Health and Human Rights;” designed and led seminar on “Complex Humanitarian Emergencies.”
  • 1991–1993, Visiting Scholar and Professor, Department of Social Anthropology, Mexican National Institute of Anthropology and History, Mexico City, Mexico; Designed and taught human rights and immigration rights courses.

Licensure and Certification:

  • 1997   Certified by U.S. Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance in “Health in Complex Humanitarian Emergencies”
  • 1997   Qualified in U.S. Federal District Court as Expert Witness with respect to “Human Rights in Mexico”
  • 1992   Licensed to practice law in the State of New York
  • 1992   Licensed to practice law in the District of Columbia