Alicia Ely Yamin is currently a Lecturer on Law and the Senior Fellow on Global Health and Rights at the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology and Bioethics at Harvard Law School; Adjunct Senior Lecturer on Health Policy and Management at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health; and Senior Advisor on Human Rights and Health Policy at the global health justice organization, Partners In Health.
Known globally for her trans-disciplinary work in relation to economic and social rights, sexual and reproductive health and rights, the right to health, and the intersections between development paradigms and human rights, Yamin’s 25+-year career has bridged academia and activism. She has lived and worked in Latin America and East Africa for half of her professional life, working with and through local advocacy organizations.
Yamin has served on numerous UN, WHO and other global expert committees, including being appointed by the UN Secretary General as one of ten international experts to the Independent Accountability Panel for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health in the Sustainable Development Goals (2016-2021). She was the chief consultant to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and drafter of the ‘Technical guidance on the application of a human-rights based approach to the implementation of policies and programmes to reduce preventable maternal morbidity and mortality, “ the first guidance on a ‘human rights-based approach to health’ to be adopted by the UN Human Rights Council.
Yamin currently serves on the WHO’s Technical Advisory Group on ‘Health Technology Assessments’; the joint World Bank/Norwegian Institute for Public Health/Bergen Centre on Ethics and Priority Setting Project on ‘Health Financing for Universal Health Coverage’; the Lancet Commission on Arctic Health; and the Steering Committee on Global Public Investment.
In 2011, Yamin was named by the iconic Colombian Constitutional Court as an Independent Expert on the implementation of T 760/08, a major structural judgment that led to significant health system reform In Colombia. She was also the only non-Kenyan appointed to the oversight committee for health matters of the Constitutional Implementation Commission in relation to the 2010 Kenyan Constitution.
Yamin regularly provides testimony and guidance to tribunals and legislative bodies around the globe, as well as amicus curiae briefs, in relation to the application of international and constitutional law to health issues.
Yamin holds Juris Doctor and Master’s in Public Health degrees from Harvard University, and a Doctorate in Law from the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina. She has published over 150 articles on international and comparative law, international development and global health in English and Spanish. Her latest book, When Misfortune becomes Injustice: Evolving Human Rights Struggles for Health and Social Equality, was published by Stanford University Press in 2020.
- A.B. Sociology, Latin American Literature Harvard College, 1987
- J.D. Harvard Law School, 1991
- M.P.H. Law and Public Health Harvard School of Public Health, 1996
- Alicia Ely Yamin, Reflections on Paul Farmer’s legacy: a clarion call for transformative human rights praxis in global health, OpenGlobalRights, Mar. 4, 2022.