The emphasis of Stephen Marks’s work is on public health and human rights, drawing on the disciplines of international law, international politics, international organizations, and international economics.

Professor Marks’s recent research has focused on the right to health, global health governance,  integrating human rights into sustainable human development; mental health; poverty; tobacco control; and the right to development. He has published recent books, articles or book chapters in each of these areas. His earlier work has dealt with biotechnology and human rights; impunity for mass atrocities; terrorism and human rights; cultural rights; access to medicines, and human rights education. . He directs the Program on Human Rights in Development (PHRD).

He recently co-edited a book on Critical Issues on Human Rights and  Development  for publication in 2021  by Edward Elgar Publishing. In 2013 he co-edited Advancing the Human Right to Health (Oxford University Press, 2013) and was consultant editor of Realizing the Right to Development: Essays in Commemoration of 25 Years of the United Nations Declaration on the Right to Development, published by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. His book Health and Human Rights: Basic International Documents, is now in its third edition. Professor Marks is Co-Chair, Human Rights Thematic Group, Human Development and Capability Association (HDCA) (2013-present) and served on the Committee on Scientific Freedom and Responsibility of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) form 2010 to 2017. In 2019 the Council of the AAAS elected him as an honorary fellow.

He teaches courses at HSPH and in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.


Doctor of Laws (Docteur d’Etat en droit), with high honors, Institute of the Law of Peace and Development, Faculty of Law and Economics, University of Nice, 1979

Master of Arts (hon.), Harvard University, 1999

Advanced degree (Diplôme d’études appliquées avancées, DEAA) in administrative litigation and human rights, Faculty of Law, Economics and Political Science of the University of Besançon, 1977

Certificate of European Studies, Institute of Advanced European Studies of the University of Legal, Political and Social Sciences of Strasbourg, 1972

University degree in literary studies (Diplôme universitaire d’études littéraires, DUEL), University of Humanities of Strasbourg (in Arabic language, literature and civilization), 1972

Diploma in Arabic with high honors, Faculty of Letters of Damascus University, 1971

Masters degree (Diplôme IHEI), Institute of Advanced International Studies of the University of Law, Economics and Social Sciences of Paris, 1971

Bachelor of Arts, Law, Stanford University, 1964

Program on Human Rights in Development

The Program on Human Rights in Development (PHRD) was established as part of the FXB Center on Health and Human Rights in 1999. Since September 2006, it moved to the Department of Global Health and Population. This program is engaged in several research and publishing projects.

Other Affiliations

Member, Standing Committee on Appointments, Reappointments, and Promotions (SCARP), 2017-2020.

Member, HSPH Committee of the University Committee on International Projects and Sites (CIPS), 2015-2019.

Member, Committee on Educational Policy, HSPH, 2015-2019.

Faculty Associate, Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, Harvard Kennedy School, 2019-present.

Faculty Member, Humanitarian Academy at Harvard, 2011-present.

Member, Steering Committee, Humanitarian Studies, Ethics, and Human Rights (HuSEHR), 2013-2020.

Member, Core Knowledge Sub-Committee for MPH and DrPH Degrees, HSPH, 2013-2014.

Faculty Associate, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, 2008-present.

Member, Harvard Scholars-at-Risk Committee, 2006-present

Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, Faculty member, 2005-present

Member, Standing Committee on Ethnicity, Migration, Rights (EMR) (former Committee on Ethnic Studies), Faculty of Arts and Sciences 2010-present

Faculty Associate, Center for International Development, 2002-2015.