October 19, 2021

Dr. Benjamin Mason Meier

Dr. Benjamin Mason Meier

Benjamin Mason Meier, JD, LLM, PhD, professor of global health policy at UNC-Chapel Hill, has been selected to receive the 2021 Mid-Career Award in International Health from the American Public Health Association (APHA).

This award recognizes an outstanding mid-career professional in the APHA’s international health section with demonstrated achievement and commitment to international health promotion and development over a period of seven to 20 years, as well as demonstrated creativity in expanding the concepts pertinent to the practice of public health with an international focus.

Meier has recently received a joint professorship in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and in the Department of Public Policy at the College of Arts and Sciences. His interdisciplinary research focuses on global health, international law and public policy, where he examines human rights-based approaches to public health. In his career, he has published and presented extensively on the development, evolution and application of human rights in global health, including policies related to infectious disease, environmental health, women and children’s health, water and sanitation, and tobacco control.

Meier is a senior scholar at Georgetown Law School’s O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law. He was the inaugural chair of the Global Health Law Consortium and the founding chair of APHA’s Human Rights Forum. He is also the editor of two recent global health and human rights publications from Oxford University Press: Human Rights in Global Health: Rights-Based Governance for a Globalizing World, published in 2018, and Foundations of Global Health & Human Rights, published in 2020. Earlier in his career, he received the 2017 Outstanding Recent Alumnus Award from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and the 2018 Early Career Award from APHA’s law section.

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, he has authored a number of publications advancing global health policy, examining the critical role that human rights play in developing COVID-19 public health measures, the threat of populism to the global pandemic response, the human rights impact of policies such as digital surveillance and vaccine access, the problem of individual responsibility for disease prevention, the limitations of the International Health Regulations in the pandemic response, and the World Health Organization’s development of a “pandemic treaty.”

“It is a distinct honor to receive this award from the international health section of the APHA,” Meier said. “Reflecting on how far we’ve come, it’s been inspiring to work within APHA over the past 15 years to advance human rights in global health. Through our efforts, human rights have evolved to become central to public health, offering universal frameworks for the advancement of justice in global health. We need these rights now, more than ever, and I hope to continue to work with APHA in our fight for these rights in the years to come.”

Meier will receive the award in a virtual ceremony on Oct. 25 during the APHA Annual Meeting and Expo in Denver, Colorado.

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