Lecturer on Law
Alicia Ely Yamin leads the Global Health and Rights Project, which is a collaboration of the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology and Bioethics (PFC) at Harvard Law School and the Global Health Education and Learning Incubator (GHELI) at Harvard University. A significant portion of her current research and policy work at GHRP focuses on legal and ethical issues in relation to priority setting for Universal Health Coverage, and Yamin is also a Senior Adviser to the Bergen Center on Ethics and Priority Setting (BCEPS) in Norway.
Yamin is currently an Adjunct Lecturer on Global Health and Population at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, and affiliated faculty member of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School.
Trained in both law and public health at Harvard, Yamin’s 20+-year career at the intersection of global health and human rights has bridged academia and activism, in law and global health/development. Yamin 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 taught academic courses and strategic activism on global health and rights, in English and Spanish, in Peru, Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay, Kenya, South Africa, Uganda, and Norway, as well as the United States.
Known globally for her pioneering and transdiciplinary scholarship in relation to economic and social rights, sexual and reproductive health and rights, and the right to health, Yamin has contributed to multiple human rights treaty General Comments/Recommendations, UN Special Procedure consultations, and reports prepared for Human Rights Council resolutions. She regularly drafts amicus curiae briefs, and provides expert testimony and more informal guidance, to domestic and supra-national tribunals and legislative bodies around the globe, relating to the application of international and constitutional law to health issues.
In 2016, the UN Secretary General appointed Yamin as one of nine international global health experts to the Independant Accountability Panel (IAP) for the Global Strategy on Women's, Children's and Adolecents' Health in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In 2019, Yamin was also appointed to the WHO’s Technical Advisory Group on Health Technology Assessments for Universal Health Coverage in the SDGs. She has served on numerous WHO, PAHO, World Bank and UN Task Forces, Steering Committees, and Technical Advisory Groups, as well as Lancet Commissions, including currently the Lancet-Dartmouth Commission on Arctic Health.
Yamin has published dozens of scholarly articles in both law journals and peer-reviewed public health journals. Her recent book, Power, Suffering and the Struggle for Dignity: Human Rights Frameworks for Health and Why They Matter, with a foreword by Paul Farmer (UPenn, 2016) is now available in Spanish (Ediciones UniAndes, 2018). Her latest book, When Misfortune becomes Injustice: Evolving Human Rights Struggles for Health and Social Equality is forthcoming from Stanford University Press (2020).
Yamin was a member of the Board of Directors of the Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR) for 15 years and the Chair from 2009-2014 (Vice-Chair, 2001-2009). She remains on the Global Advisory Council of CESR. She is also on the Board of Directors of Women in Global Health, and chairs the advisory council of the Health Law Institute, which respectively promote women’s leadership and health workers’ rights in global health.