Lawrence O. Gostin is University Professor (Georgetown University’s highest academic rank), O’Neill Chair in Global Health Law, and Director of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law. Prof. Gostin holds international professorial appointments at Oxford University, University of Witwatersrand, and Melbourne University. He is Director of the WHO Collaborating Center on Public Health Law & Human Rights, and serves on expert WHO advisory committees mental health, International Health Regulations, and Pandemic Influenza Preparedness. Prof. Gostin holds editorial appointments, notably the Journal of the American Medical Association.


Prof. Gostin holds honorary doctoral degrees from the State University of New York, Cardiff University, Sydney University, and the Royal Institute of Public Health. He is a Member of the National Academy of Sciences, Council of Foreign Relations, and Hastings Center. The National Academy awarded Prof. Gostin the Yarmolinsky Medal for distinguished service to further its mission of science and health. He received the Public Health Law Association’s Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award.


Prof. Gostin received the Delbridge Memorial Award in the United Kingdom for the person “who has most influenced Parliament and government to act for the welfare of society.” His latest book is Global Health Law (Harvard University Press, 2014).


Recent Posts by Lawrence O. Gostin

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