News Release

Georgetown University’s O’Neill Institute and School of Health Announce the Establishment of the Center for Global Health Policy & Politics

Building upon the successes of the Global Health Policy & Politics Initiative, the Center for Global Health Policy & Politics aims to pioneer strong legal and political responses to improve global health equity, access, and accountability.

Heena Patel, Director of Strategic Communications, O’Neill Institute,

Karen Teber, Associate Vice President, Georgetown University Medical Center,

WASHINGTON (October 12, 2023) — Georgetown University’s O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law and the School of Health announce the establishment of the Center for Global Health Policy & Politics, which builds on the work of the Global Health Policy & Politics Initiative.

The Center for Global Health Policy & Politics, a UNAIDS-designated Collaborating Center, works at the intersection of global health, law, and political science. Through policy research, political analysis, and strategic convening, the Center explores and addresses the political determinants of health and supports the creation of legal and policy environments that help stop pandemics, expand equity in access to medical technologies, tackle inequalities in health, and save lives.

“Law and policy are some of the most powerful health interventions available, determining global distribution of wellbeing,” said Matthew Kavanagh, PhD, director of the Center for Global Health Policy & Politics who serves on the Georgetown faculty in global health and law. “Where some promote removing politics from public health, we see the two as inextricably linked. Today’s pandemics demonstrate the critical need for deepening global health research, analysis, and strategic engagement on the political forces and institutions that shape health, particularly as politics shapes laws and policies. As the initiative evolves into a cross-campus center, we are excited for greater opportunity to bring these pieces together toward building more just and equitable global health responses.”

The Center’s multidisciplinary team includes lawyers, social scientists, epidemiologists, and policy experts with decades of experience in global health. Partnering with governments, international organizations, and civil society groups around the world, the Center will do even more to support law and policy change on issues from HIV, COVID-19, and tuberculosis to health equity and health system accountability.

“Georgetown provides an ideal incubator for the Center for Global Health Policy & Politics, where its talented faculty can imagine transformative ideas to address the world’s most challenging health issues,” says Georgetown University School of Health Dean Christopher J. King. “By catalyzing the establishment of laws and public policy to improve the conditions of the most vulnerable, communities across the globe will have tools and resources to advance health equity and wellbeing.”

Earlier this year, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) designated the Center for Global Health Policy & Politics as a United Nations Collaborating Center. Through this agreement, the Center will build upon its collaboration with UNAIDS to inform efforts in ending the HIV/AIDS pandemic and help build a global council of academics and political leaders on inequality and pandemic response.

Additionally, the Center for Global Health Policy & Politics will continue the work of its many projects and partnerships — such as the HIV Policy Lab and access coalitions on TB and diagnostics — while further focusing on research and action that advances the right to health for all.

“Through this evolution, the Center for Global Health Policy & Politics will be able to expand its influence to confront global health challenges and heighten its ability to bring a deeper understanding on health rights, equity, and structures for accountability, as it leverages expertise and resources through the Georgetown University School of Health,” added Katie Gottschalk, executive director of the O’Neill Institute.

Visit here and here to learn more about the Center for Global Health Policy and Politics.

Center for Global Health Policy & Politics
Global Health Policy & Politics Initiative