An expert in public health and rights-based responses to humanitarian crises, Jennifer Leaning, MD, SMH, is the Director of the Harvard François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University, the FXB Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights at Harvard School of Public Health and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.
Prior to her current appointment, Dr. Leaning served for five years as co-director of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. From 1999 to 2005, Dr. Leaning directed the Program on Humanitarian Crises and Human Rights at the FXB Center. During the 1980s and 1990s, Dr. Leaning held progressively responsible roles in medical management at Harvard Community Health Plan and worked clinically in emergency medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital. She has served on the boards of Physicians for Human Rights, Physicians for Social Responsibility and Oxfam America and currently is a member of the Board of Directors of the Humane Society of the United States and the Massachusetts Bay Chapter of the American Red Cross. She is on the editorial boards of several journals and a member of the Board of Syndics at Harvard University Press. Her research and teaching interests are in human rights, international humanitarian law, and public health and policy response to humanitarian crises. The author of many academic articles, she has also edited two books, including Humanitarian Crises: The Medical and Public Health Response, published by Harvard University Press in 1999.
Leaning earned her B.A. magna cum laude from Radcliffe College, her masters of science from HSPH, and her M.D. with honors from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine.