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Alicia Ely Yamen


Alicia Ely Yamin is currently Senior Fellow at the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology and Bioethics (PFC) at Harvard Law School; and Senior Advisor on Human Rights at Partners in Health.


Yamin is also a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School (Spring, 2020), and an Adjunct Lecturer on Global Health and Population at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, as well as an affiliate of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Additionally, Yamin is a member of the Centre on Law and Social Transformation, and the Bergen Centre on Ethics and Priority Setting (both in Norway).

From 2016-18, Yamin was a Visiting Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center; from 2011-2016 she was a Lecturer on Law and Public Health at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, as well as serving as Policy Director at Harvard's Francois-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights. 

Trained in both law and public health at Harvard, Yamin’s 25+-year career at the intersection of global health and human rights has bridged academia and activism, as well as 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. 

Known globally for her trans-disciplinary scholarship in relation to economic and social rights, sexual and reproductive health and rights, and the right to health, Yamin has contributed to the work of human rights treaty-monitoring bodies, UN Special Procedures, and reports prepared for Human Rights Council, as well as to expert groups at the WHO. She currently serves on the WHO’s Technical Advisory Group on Health Technology Assessments for the SDGs, as well as the Lancet Commission on Arctic Health.

Yamin was named by the Colombian Constitutional Court as an Independent Expert on the implementation of   T 760/08, a major structural judgment that led to significant health care reform. 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. She regularly provides testimony and guidance to tribunals and legislative bodies around the globe, in relation to the application of international and constitutional law to health issues. 

 In 2016, the UN Secretary General appointed Yamin as one of ten international global health experts to the Independent Accountability Panel (IAP) for the Global Strategy on Women's, Children's and Adolescents' Health in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Yamin also serves on the WHO’s Technical Advisory Group on Health Technology Assessments for Universal Health Coverage in the SDGs.

Yamin has published dozens of scholarly articles in both law journals and peer-reviewed public health journals, in English and Spanish. Her latest book is When Misfortune becomes Injustice: Evolving Human Rights Struggles for Health and Social Equality (Stanford University Press, 2020).

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