Academic Profile

Faculty Profile

Alicia Ely Yamin, JD MPH is a Lecturer on and Law and Global Health and Director of the JD/MPH program at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She is also Policy Director at the François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University.

Trained in both law and public health at Harvard, Yamin’s career at the intersection of health and human rights has bridged academia and activism.  From 2007 to 2011, Yamin held the prestigious Joseph H. Flom Fellowship on Global Health and Human Rights at Harvard Law School.  Prior to that, she served as Director of Research and Investigations at Physicians for Human Rights, where she oversaw all of the organization’s field investigations, and was on the faculty of the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University (1996-2003).   Yamin is known globally for her pioneering scholarship and advocacy in relation to economic and social rights and rights-based approaches to health, for which she has received multiple distinctions. She has contributed to the drafting of multiple General Comments by UN treaty bodies, as well as UN Human Rights Council resolutions.  Yamin regularly advises UN bodies in relation to health and human rights, and has provided strategic guidance to NGOs as well as courts on landmark litigation relating to health- and sexual and reproductive rights, in various countries and regions, as well as in supra-national adjudication.

In 2014, She was named as the 2015-2016 Visiting Gladstein Professor of Human Rights at the University of Connecticut, and  she is currently serving on the Lancet-O’Neil Institute Commission on Global Health and the Law. In January 2016, UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, appointed Yamin to a High-Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth. Yamin will serve as an expert group member that will advise the Commission. In February 2016, Yamin was named as a member of the Independent Accountability Panel (IAP) for Every Woman Every Child and the Global Strategy for Women’s Children’s and Adolescents’ Health (2016-2030).  

Her most recent book, Power, Suffering, and the Struggle for Dignity: Human Rights Frameworks for Health and Why They Matter, was just published by the University of Pennsylvania Press.