July 13, 2015


WASHINGTON (JULY 13, 2015) —The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) has tapped Lawrence O. Gostin, faculty director of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, to serve on its “Global Health Risk Framework for the Future” Commission.

Gostin, is “University Professor” at Georgetown University, its highest academic rank. He is a world-renowned expert in international health law and public health. Gostin is a lifetime member of the Institute of Medicine (now the National Academy of Medicine) and is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations. He has extensive experience in developing frameworks that utilize national and international laws to protect and serve the world’s health needs. He currently serves on the Independent Panel on the Global Response to Ebola so-sponsored by the Harvard Global Health Institute and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

For the NAS, Gostin will serve on an international independent commission of 18 to  “conduct a study and prepare a report to recommend an effective global architecture for recognizing and mitigating the threat of epidemic infectious diseases.”

Gostin says:

“The National Academy of Medicine is ideally situated to provide a definitive account of the increased risks facing the globe and to devise an evidence-based strategy to diminish those risks. The world is ill prepared for the next major health hazard, whether it is a fast moving epidemic or bioterrorism. The World Health Organization’s legitimacy and capacity was gravely tested during the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. The world needs a powerful WHO as the global health leader, so it must be reformed from top to bottom. There remains overwhelming need for stronger framework in the face of emerging epidemics with the ultimate goal of saving lives and reducing the burden of disease. That will be the objective of this timely and vital NAM Global Commission.”

The Commission’s report will furnish conclusions and actionable recommendations to guide policy makers, international funders, civil society organizations, and the private sector to strengthen global, regional, national, and local systems to better prepare, detect, and respond to epidemic infectious diseases.

The Commission will receive input and evidence from four Institute of Medicine workshops in the coming months on 1) governance for global health, 2) financing response to pandemic threats, 3) resilient health systems, and 4) research and development of medical products.

The Commission will also review “lessons learned” from outbreaks that have had a global impact including Ebola, H1N1 influenza, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

Its report and recommendations will be completed ahead of the World Health Assembly Executive Board meeting in January 2016.

The National Academy of Medicine “is an independent organization of eminent professionals from diverse fields including health and medicine; the natural, social, and behavioral sciences; and beyond.”

About the O’Neill Institute for National & Global Health Law
The O’Neill Institute was established in 2007 to respond to the need for innovative new solutions to the most pressing national and international health concerns. Housed at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington D.C., the O’Neill Institute reflects the importance of public and private law in health policy analysis. The O’Neill Institute draws upon the University’s considerable intellectual resources, including the School of Nursing & Health Studies, the School of Medicine, the McCourt School of Public Policy, and the Kennedy Institute of Ethics.