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September 4, 2009

Len Rubenstein Joins Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Faculty

Leonard Rubenstein

Leonard Rubenstein, JD, LLM, renowned advocate for human rights and medical ethics, has joined the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health as a visiting scholar. He will collaborate on research, teaching and advocacy with the Bloomberg School’s Center for Public Health and Human Rights and Center for a Livable Future.

For the past 30 years, Rubenstein has been a leader in the advancement of human rights, including the right to health, both in the United States and abroad. He’s also been involved in the investigation and analysis of torture and medical complicity in torture, medical ethics and human rights, war crimes and crimes against humanity, global health, and mental health and race disparities in health in the U.S.

Rubenstein joins the Bloomberg School from the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), where he was a senior fellow. Prior to his work with USIP, he served for many years as executive director and president of Physicians for Human Rights. He also directed the Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, which advocates for rights and services for people with mental disabilities.

“Len Rubenstein brings tremendous assets to our centers and our School. He is a distinguished leader and champion for human rights. As a human rights lawyer, he has been an unyielding opponent of torture,” said Chris Beyrer, MD, professor and director of the Center for Public Health and Human Rights.

“I have known Len Rubenstein for more than a decade and regard him as a truly outstanding addition to the Bloomberg School of Public Health,” said Robert Lawrence, MD, professor and director of the Bloomberg School’s Center for a Livable Future. “His pioneering advocacy for equitable treatment of persons with mental disorders and his leadership of Physicians for Human Rights assure that he will bring an exciting new dimension to the work of the Center for Public Health and Human Rights and the environmental justice work of the Center for a Livable Future.”

Rubenstein is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations and the Committee on Scientific Freedom and Responsibility of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He serves on the Board of Directors of the International Federation of Health and Human Rights Organizations and the Governing Council of the American Public Health Association. He is Vice-Chair of the Committee on Human Rights of the American Bar Association’s Section on Individual Rights and served as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law School, teaching professional responsibility. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Congressional Minority Caucuses’ Healthcare Hero Award; the United Nations Association of the National Capital Area’s Louis B. Sohn Award; the Physicians Forum Edward K. Barsky Award; the National Mental Health Association’s Mission Award; and the Political Asylum Representation Project’s Outstanding Achievement Award.

Rubenstein earned degrees from Wesleyan University and Harvard Law School. He has written extensively both for scholarly publications and newspapers such as the New York Times, Washington Post, and Boston Globe.

Public Affairs media contact for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: Tim Parsons at 410-955-7619 or