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Sofia Gruskin

Sofia Gruskin

Professor of Preventive Medicine and Law, Director, Program on Global Health and Human Rights, Institute for Global Health

Telephone: (323) 865-0826
699 Exposition Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90089-0074 USA Personal Website: Link

Last Updated: July 5, 2018

Sofia Gruskin directs the Institute for Global Health and its Program on Global Health & Human Rights at the University of Southern California. She holds an appointment as professor of preventive medicine and serves as chief of the Policy and Global Health division at the Keck School of Medicine of USC Department of Preventive Medicine. In addition, she is a professor of law at the USC Gould School of Law, affiliate faculty member with the department of American Studies and Ethnicity and Spatial Sciences Institute—both at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences—and serves on the USC Academic Senate Executive Board. She leads the USC Law & Global Health Collaboration alongside professors Alexander Capron and Charlie Kaplan from USC Gould School of Law and USC Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, respectively.
A pioneer in global health and human rights, Gruskin’s work, which ranges from global policy to the grassroots level, has been instrumental in developing the conceptual, methodological and empirical links between health and human rights, with a focus on HIV/AIDS, sexual and reproductive health, child and adolescent health, gender-based violence, non-communicable disease and health systems. Her current partners include the World Health Organization, United Nations Development Programme, Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, Open Society Foundations and local organizations and universities in Brazil, India and Vietnam.
Gruskin sits on numerous boards and committees including the PEPFAR Scientific Advisory Board and the technical advisory group for the High Level Working Group on the Health and Human Rights of Women, Children and Adolescents, jointly initiated by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and WHO. She is co-coordinator of the Rights-Oriented Research and Education Network for Sexual and Reproductive Health, an international network of sexual and reproductive health and rights researchers and advocates.
In recent years Gruskin served on the board of directors for the Guttmacher Institute, the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on the Outcome and Impact Evaluation of Global HIV/AIDS Programs Implemented Under the Lantos/Hyde Act of 2008, the technical advisory Group of the UN Global Commission on HIV and the Law, and the UNAIDS Reference Group on HIV and Human Rights. Gruskin was with Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health for many years; director of the Program on International Health and Human Rights and associate professor in the department of Global Health and Population; and co-director of the Interdepartmental Program on Women, Gender and Health.
Gruskin has published extensively, including several books, and serves on the editorial boards of the American Journal of Public Health, Global Public Health, Reproductive Health Matters and Revue Tiers Monde.
Gruskin received her masters in International Affairs from the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs in 1993. She received her JD from Yeshiva University’s Benjamin N. Cardoza School of Law in 1990.

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  • Leading the Realization of Human Rights to Health and Through Health. Report of the high-level working group on the health and human rights of women, children and adolescents. (World Health Organization, 2017).
  • Health and Human Rights in a Changing World (with M. Grodin,  D, Tarantola,  and G. Annas, eds.) (Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2013).
  • Perspectives in Health and Human Rights (with M. Grodin, G. Annas, and S.P. Marks, eds.) (Routledge,Taylor & Francis Group, 2005).
  • Health and Human Rights:  A Reader (with J. Mann, M. Grodin, and G. Annas, eds.) (New York:  Routledge, 1999).


  • “Killed by Police: Quantifying Misclassification in Vital Statistics and Validating Media-Based Demographic Data (Massachusetts, 2004-2016)” (with J. Feldman, B. Coull, and N. Krieger N). American Journal of Public Health (2017).
  • “Engaging Human Rights in the Evolving Zika Virus Epidemic” (with J. Rasantham and S. MacCarthy). American Journal of Public Health, vol. 107, no. 4, p. 525 (2017).
  • “Human Rights, Gender and Infectious Disease: From HIV/AIDS to Ebola” (with L. Stemple and P. Karegeya). Human Rights Quarterly, vol. 38, p. 993 (2016).
  • “Monitoring HIV-Related Laws and Policies: Lessons for AIDS and Global Health in Agenda 2030” (with M. Torres et al). AIDS and Behavior, vol. 21, no. 1, p. 1 (2016).
  • “No ‘Shared Governance’ Without Attention to Law, Broadly Conceived” (with A. Capron). American Journal of Bioetics, vol. 16, no. 10, p. 54 (2016).
  • “Human Rights and the Sexual and Reproductive Health of Women Living with HIV – A Literature Review” (with Shubha Kumar et al). Journal of the International Aids Society, vol.18, supplement 5, p. 17 (December 2015).
  • “Men’s Violence Against Women and Men Are Inter-Related: Recommendations for Simultaneous Intervention” (with Paul J. Fleming et al). Special Issue, Social Science & Medicine, vol. 146, , p. 249 (2015).
  • “Sexual Rights as Human Rights: A Guide to Authoritative Sources and Principles for Applying Human Rights to Sexuality and Sexual Health” (with Alice M. Miller et al). Reproductive Health Matters, vol. 23, no. 46, p. 16 (2015).
  • “Sound and Fury – Engaging with the Politics and the Law of Sexual Rights” (with Alice M. Miller et al). Reproductive Health Matters, vol. 23, no. 46, p. 7 (2015).
  • “Advancing Sexual Health Through Human Rights: The Role of the Law” (with Eszter Kismoedi, Jane Cottingham, and Alice M. Miller). Special Issue, Global Public Health, vol.10, no. 2, p. 252 (2015).
  • “Air Pollution, Health, and Human Rights” (with Jonathan M. Samet). Lancet Respiratory Medicine, vol. 3, no. 2, p. 98  (2015).
  • “Applying Human Rights-Based Approaches to Public Health: Lessons Learned from Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Programs” (with Allison Smith-Estelle and Laura Ferguson). Etude de la Population Africaine, vol. 29, no. 1 p. 1713 (2015).
  • “Is the Right to Health Compatible with Sustainability?” (with Daniel D. Reidpath and Pascale Allotey). Journal of Global Health, vol. 5, no. 1, p. 010301 (2015).
  • “Reproductive Justice and the Pace of Change: Socioeconomic Trends in US Infant Death Rates by Legal Status of Abortion, 1960-1980” (with Nancy Krieger et al). American Journal of Public Health, vol. 105, no. 4, p. 680 (2015).
  • “Searching for Justice and Health” (with Daniel Tarantola and Kenneth Camargo). American Journal of Public Health, vol. 105, no. 8, p. 1511(2015).
  • “The HIV Care Cascade: Models, Measures and Moving Forward” (with Sarah MacCarthy et al). Journal of the International AIDS Society, vol. 18, no. 1, p. 19395 (2015).
  • “Why History Matters for Quantitative Target Setting: Long-Term Trends in Socioeconomic and Racial/ Ethnic Inequities in US Infant Death Rates (1960-2010)” (with Nancy Krieger et al). Journal of Public Health Policy, vol. 36, no. 3, p. 287 (2015).
  • “Climate Change and Human Rights: Roles, Responsibilities, and Action” (with Madhury Ray). Human Rights Defender, vol. 23, no. 1, p. 14 (2014).
  • “Global Health Justice.” Review of Global Health Law, by Lawrence O. Gostin. Lancet vol. 384, no. 9947, p. 945 (2014).
  • “HIV and Gender-Based Violence: Welcome Policies and Programmes, But Is the Research Keeping Up?” (with Kelly Safreed-Harmon et al). Reproductive Health Matters, vol. 22, no. 44, p. 174 (2014).
  • “What’s Pregnancy Got To Do with It? Late Presentation to HIV/AIDS Services in Northeastern Brazil.” AIDS Care, vol. 26, no. 12, p. 1514 (2014).
  • "Realigning Government Action with Public Health Evidence: The Legal and Policy Environment Affecting Sex Work and HIV" (with G. Williams and L. Ferguson). Culture, Health and Sexuality, vol. 16, no. 1 p. 14 (2013).
  • "Identifying Structural Barriers to an Effective HIV Response: Using 2010 NCPI Data to Evaluate the Human Rights, Legal and Policy Environment" (with L. Ferguson, T. Alverson, G. Peersman, and D. Rugg). Journal of the International AIDS Society, vol. 16, (2013).
  • "Human Rights in Health Systems Frameworks: What is There, What is Missing and Why Does it Matter?" (with S. Ahmed et al). Global Public Health, vol. 7, no. 4, p. 337 (2011).
  • "The Impacts of AIDS Movements on the Policy Responses to HIV/AIDS in Brazil and South Africa: A Comparative Analysis" (with A. Nunn, S. L. Dickman, and N. Nattras). Global Public Health, vol. 7, no. 20, p. 1031 (2012).
  • "Are Drug Companies Living Up to Their Human Rights Responsibilities? Moving Toward Assessment." PLOS Medicine, vol. 7, no. 9 (2010).
  • "Rights-Based Approaches to Health Policies and Programmers: Articulations, Ambiguities and Assessment" (with D. Bogecho and L. Ferguson). Journal of Public Health Policy, vol. 31, no. 2, p. 129 (2010).
  • "Using Human Rights for Sexual and Reproductive Health: Improving Legal and Regulatory Frameworks" (with J. Cottingham et al). Bulletin of the World Organization, vol. 88, no. 7, p. 551 (2010).
  • "Human Rights in the Global Response to HIV: Findings from the 2008 UNGASS Reports" (with L. Ferguson, G. Peersman, and D. Rugg). JAIDS, vol. 52, supplement 2, S104-S110 (2009).
  • "Government Regulation of Sex and Sexuality: In Their Own Words" (with L. Ferguson). Reproductive Health Matters, vol. 17, no. 34, p. 108 (2009).
  • "Using Indicators to Determine the Contribution of Human Rights to Public Health Efforts: Why? What? And How?" (with L. Ferguson). Bulletin of the World Health Organization, vol. 87, no. 9, p. 714 (2009).
  • "Justice and Human Rights: Priority Setting and Fair Deliberative Process" (with N. Daniels). American Journal of Public Health, vol. 98, no. 9, p. 1573 (2008).
  • "Health, Development and Human Rights." Australian Journal of Human Rights, vol. 13, no. 2, p. 1 (2008).


West Central Tribune
March 23, 2020
Re: Susan Estrich

Susan Estrich writes an op-ed about the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act is not responding well to the COVID-19 outbreak. She said, "Right now, HIPAA is making it impossible to know whether you have been in contact with an infected person and, in turn, whether you may be infecting a high-risk loved one."


Thomas D. Lyon
January, 2020

“Children’s concealment of a minor transgression: The role of age, maltreatment, and executive functioning,” (with Shanna Williams and Kelly McWilliams) Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 191 (2020).

Thomas D. Lyon
January, 2020

“The effects of the putative confession and evidence presentation on maltreated and non-maltreated 9- to 12-year-olds’ coached concealment of a minor transgression,” (with Angela Evans) Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 188 (2019).

Dan Simon
January, 2020

"The Adversarial Mindset," Psychology, Public Policy and Law.