O'Neill Institute

O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law Newsletter - December 2015

O'Neill Institute
O'Neill Institute
O'Neill Institute Newsletter




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Why we Need the Framework Convention on Global Health Following the SDGs
By: Eric Friedman, O'Neill Institute Associate

Food Marketing to Children in Latin America in Need of an Urgent Makeover
By: Fernanda Alonso, O'Neill Institute Associate 

We Have a Deal! The Paris Agreement: An innovative Legal Agreement to Save the Planet?
By: Mary DeBartolo, O'Neill Institute Associate 

Tianjin Blasts: A Regulatory Catastrophe
By: Ana Ayala, O'Neill Institute LL.M. Program Director

A Public Health Approach to Gun Violence (Or Move to Australia)
By: Katherine Shats, O'Neill Institute Associate

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 Daniel Hougendobler, O'Neill 



I am so proud of the work the O’Neill Institute has accomplished this year, and excited by the work that is still to come.

2015 brought many new research endeavors, colleagues, and partners, including our work with the WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean on non-communicable diseases, our emerging research on public health law and the legalization of marijuana, our fellowship studying Hepatitis C, and collaborations with partners in Asia and Latin America. We also welcomed new members to our team and a bright cohort of Global Health Law LL.M. students. 

As we enter 2016, I wish you a peaceful holiday season and a very happy new year!  We'll see you in January!


  • December 14, Dr. Dainius Puras, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health and O'Neill Institute Distinguished Visitor, visited the O’Neill Institute. Following a presentation on his mandate as Special Rapporteur, Dr. Puras met with our team to discuss the O’Neill Institute’s work on health and human rights and universal health coverage.
  • December 6-9, Sean Bland and Jeffrey Crowley attended the CDC’s 2015 National HIV Prevention Conference in Atlanta, GA.
  • December 3, Susan Kim presented on "Public Health and the Law" at a conference organized by the District Health Secretary of Bogota, Colombia: "Seminario Internacional Desafíos de la salud en Colombia en el marco del post conflicto y la Ley Estatutaria."
  • December, we celebrate our Global Health Law LL.M. students. After much hard work, they have completed their fall semester. We also bid farewell to graduating student Virginia Rowthorn and our Global Health Law and International Institutions LL.M. students, who are off to complete their studies at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies.
  • November 15-22, Oscar Cabrera, Michael Templeman, Sarah Roache, and SJD candidate Han-Hsi Liu, visited Taipei. Highlights of the visit included formalizing a Memorandum of Understanding with Academia Sinica, a workshop on "Global Health Law: Normative Foundations and Challenges," presentations at seven law schools and medical schools, and connecting with GULC alumni, including Global Health Law LLM alumni Pochen Tso and Evita Wu.
We continue our profile series about our associates, fellows and faculty as described “in their own words.” In this edition, meet Fernanda Alonso, an Associate at O’Neill. Fernanda holds a Master of Laws in Global Health Law from Georgetown University and a Bachelor of Laws from the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM), Mexico City. 
OI: When did you first realized that a career at the intersection of public health and policy was a good fit for you?
FA: Since high school, I had always been very interested in human rights and development, but getting into the health sphere was sort of an accident. I was working as an intern at Oxfam in Mexico City focusing more on climate change and education when a friend of mine needed a research assistant for a couple of months to work on a project with Mexico’s public health system. She was working for a professor who was starting the "Right to Health Program" at the Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE), a university and research center in Mexico City. I kept working on small projects with them and realized that in Mexico (as is probably the case in many parts of the developing world), a huge driver of change is improving health. Mexico’s biggest issues, such as poverty, have an underlying health component and I found it fascinating to start approaching policy from that optic. 
OI: What was your path to the O’Neill Institute?
FA: The Right to Health Program at CIDE and the O’Neill Institute established an internship program, where students or research assistants from CIDE can come spend three months at O’Neill during the summer. During the second year of the exchange, I was working full time in the substance control area of the program on issues including tobacco control and drug policy. I was selected to be the person from CIDE to intern at O’Neill. It was then that I learned that O’Neill had an LL.M. program at Georgetown Law, with a focus exclusively on health. I went back to Mexico with the idea that I would come back to do my Master’s degree here. During my LL.M., I worked as a research assistant at O’Neill and had the opportunity to stay on after graduation... 

Fernanda's Full Q&A

Lawrence O. Gostin and Eric A. Friedman, “The Sustainable Development Goals: One-Health in the World’s Development Agenda,” JAMA, published online December 14, 2015

Eric A. Friedman and Lawrence O. Gostin, “Imagining Global Health with Justice: In Defense of the Right to Health,” Health Care Analysis (2015) 23(4): 308-329

Lawrence O Gostin, Mary C DeBartolo, and Eric A Friedman, "The International Health Regulations 10 years on: the governing framework for global health security," The Lancet (2015), 386(10009): 2222 - 2226

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