Lawrence O. Gostin, JD, LLD (hon.) is an internationally distinguished scholar on global health. Gostin serves as Faculty Director and Founding Chair, O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, and holds Georgetown’s highest academic rank, “University Professor” conferred by the University president. He is s Member of the National Academy of Medicine and Council of Foreign Relations, and Fellow of the Royal Society of Public Health.


Gostin is director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Center on Public Health Law & Human Rights and he has served on major WHO committees including the Director-General’s advisory committee for reforming the WHO. He served on two global commissions investigating WHO’s response to the West Africa Ebola outbreak. In 2016, President Obama appointed Gostin to the National Cancer Advisory Board.


Gostin holds international academic professorial appointments at Oxford University, the University of Sydney, and the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, among others, and has received numerous awards and honorary degrees. The National Consumer Council (UK) conferred the Rosemary Delbridge Memorial Award on Prof. Gostin for the person “who has most influenced Parliament and government to act for the welfare of society.” The American Public Health Association awarded Gostin its Distinguished Lifetime Service Award. He is JAMA’s Legal & Global Health Correspondent.


Recent Posts by Lawrence O. Gostin

New Leader, New Era: Five Building Blocks For A Reinvigorated World Health Organization

The World Health Assembly’s election of Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to serve as its 9th Director-General may be the most momentous in the Organization’s 70 years for reasons far beyond electing the first African.

June 19, 2017Global Health Policy

The Framework Convention On Global Health: A Call For Leadership From The Global Health Trio

In the current issue of Health Affairs, we explore a pivotal moment of opportunity and peril in global health, while identifying the leadership challenges of “the global health trio” -- the World Health Organization, the United Nations, and the World Bank.

January 12, 2017Global Health Policy, Public Health

On Zika Preparedness And Response, The US Gets A Failing Grade

Congress has thus far refused to pass President Obama’s supplemental $1.86 billion funding request to buttress Zika preparedness. It is one thing to fail to prepare for an emerging infectious disease if the risks are uncertain. But it is quite another to fail to act when the facts are clear.

The Global Migration Crisis, International Law, And The Responsibility To Protect Health

The world is experiencing the greatest forced migration crisis since World War II, and it shows no signs of abating. Mass forced migration poses major health hazards for those on the move, including increased risk of physical and sexual violence, mental distress, and scarcity of food, water,...

The United States’ Misguided Self-Interest On Ebola

The Ebola epidemic in West Africa is spiraling out of control. The international community allowed a manageable outbreak to mushroom into a health and humanitarian crisis. The World Health Organization (WHO) has been enfeebled and largely sidelined. Belatedly, the United States sent military...

October 31, 2014Global Health Policy, Public Health

Perspective: Advancing Jonathan Mann’s Legacy

Par Atwal does a wonderful job reminding us about the legacy of Jonathan Mann, a dear friend and colleague. But despite Mann’s prodigious contributions, what can we say about his vision today? Certainly, his work and inspiration have virtually created the field. We believed that our course at...

November 21, 2006Public Health