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Alexandra Phelan

Alexandra Phelan is an O’Neill Institute Scholar, Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center, and Faculty Research Instructor at the Center for Global Health Science and Security at Georgetown University Medical Center. 

Dr. Phelan works on legal and policy issues related to infectious diseases, with a particular focus on international law and emerging and reemerging infectious disease outbreaks. Her work examines how overlaps between fields of international law – in particular, global health law, international human rights law, and international environmental law – can serve as the catalyst to progressively develop international law to prevent and respond to infectious diseases. 

Dr. Phelan has worked as a consultant for the World Health Organization, the World Bank, and Gavi: the vaccine alliance, advising on matters including international law and pathogen sharing, human rights law and Zika, intellectual property law, and contract law. She previously worked for a number of years as a solicitor at a firm in Melbourne, Australia and was admitted to practice to the Supreme Court of Victoria and High Court of Australia in 2010. 

She holds a Doctorate of Juridical Science, specializing in international infectious disease law under the supervision of Professor Lawrence Gostin, from Georgetown University Law Center; a Master of Laws, specializing in international law, from the Australian National University; and a Bachelor of Biomedical Science/Bachelor of Laws (Honours) double degree from Monash University. She also holds a Diploma of Languages (Mandarin Chinese). In 2013, Dr. Phelan was awarded Australia’s prestigious General Sir John Monash Scholarship, and was recognized as an Associate Fellow of the Royal Commonwealth Society in 2015 for her human rights advocacy during the 2013-16 Ebola outbreak.