Emily Whelan Parento is an O’Neill Institute Scholar. Her primary scholarly focus is the intersection of domestic health law and policy with the human rights framework for the right to health and health equity. Ms. Parento has written in both national and global health law and policy, examining issues such as the impact of the Affordable Care Act on health disparities, legal strategies to strengthen health equity, and global trends in obesity-related regulation.
Most recently, Ms. Parento was Associate Professor of Law and the Gordon D. Schaber Health Law Scholar at the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law (2015-2018). Prior to McGeorge, Ms. Parento served as Executive Director of the Office of Health Policy for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, advising the administration of Governor Steven L. Beshear during the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
Before her government service, Ms. Parento held a fellowship at the O’Neill Institute; she also served as a visiting assistant professor at the University of Louisville Louis D. Brandeis School of Law, where she taught courses in health, food and drug, and administrative law. Earlier in her career she served as a federal judicial clerk and practiced litigation at Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York and California.
Ms. Parento has published in a number of venues, including the Indiana Law Journal, the Kentucky Law Journal, the Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics, & Public Policy, the Loyola Law Review, and the Hastings Center Report. In her government service, Ms. Parento led development and implementation of multiple grants, including a $2 million grant from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to develop a State Innovation Model Design to transform health care delivery and financing in Kentucky, as well as an award from the National Governors Association to develop a state health workforce plan. Ms. Parento has also presented at numerous health policy conferences and symposia and testified at multiple legislative hearings. She holds a JD and LLM from Georgetown University Law Center, a BBA from the University of Notre Dame, and is admitted to the state bars of California, New York, and Kentucky.