Learn the principles guiding humanitarian response to modern emergencies, and the challenges faced in the field today.
Jennifer Leaning teaches courses at Harvard on humanitarian response to war and disaster, human rights in peace and war, and environment and forced migration in the context of climate change.
From 2005-2009, Dr. Leaning founded and co-directed the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. As Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, she is a faculty member in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Her research, writing, and policy interests focus on issues of public health and international law in response to war and disaster, early warning for mass atrocities, and problems of human security in the context of forced migration and conflict. Dr. Leaning has field experience in assessment of issues of public health, human rights, and international humanitarian law in a range of crisis situations (including Afghanistan, Albania, Angola, Kosovo, the Middle East, Pakistan, former Soviet Union, Somalia, the Chad-Darfur border, and the African Great Lakes area). She has published widely on these topics and submitted reports and policy briefings to US and UN agencies, the International Criminal Court, and major NGOs.
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 Global Health Advisory Committee for the Open Society Foundations, the Steering Committee of the Global Action Against Mass Atrocity Crimes, the Board of Directors of the Humane Society of the United States and the Board of Directors of the American Red Cross of the Massachusetts Region. She was editor of the international journal, Medicine and Global Survival, from 1994-2001, and serves on several journal editorial boards as well as the Board of Syndics at Harvard University Press.