Skip to main content


Distinguished Professor of the Practice

Contact Info

615 N. Wolfe Street, Suite E7148
(410) 614-8371

Research Interests

Human rights; right to health; armed conflict; torture; humanitarian ethics; refugees and migrants
Experiences & Accomplishments
Harvard Law School
Georgetown University Law Center
Leonard Rubenstein is a lawyer who has spent his career in human rights, and now focuses particularly on health and human rights, especially the protection of health in armed conflict,  and the roles of health professionals in human rights. At Johns Hopkins he is core faculty of the Center for Public Health and Human Rights and the Berman Institute of Bioethics. Prior to coming to Johns Hopkins he served as Executive Director and then President of Physicians for Human Rights, as a Jennings Randolph Senior Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace, and as Executive Director of the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law. 
Professor Rubenstein’s current work includes advancing protection of health facilities, patients, and health workers in situations of conflict, advancing refugee and migrant health and rights, and exploring the ethical responsibilities of health professionals to advance human rights Professor Rubenstein founded and chairs the Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition.
Honors & Awards
2015 Syrian American Medical Society, Recognition Award for Work to Increase Protection of Health Workers in Syria,
2014 Distinguished Service Award, International Health Section, American Public Health Association,
2011 American Public Health Association, Sidel Levy Award for Peace.
2006 Physicians Forum Edward K. Barsky Award for a quarter century of courageous and effective advocacy for human rights throughout the world.
2005 United Nations Association of the National Capital Area, Louis B. Sohn Award for extraordinary service on behalf of human rights.
2003 Congressional Black Caucus, Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Congressional Asian and Pacific American Caucus, Congressional Native American Caucus. Health Care Hero Award.
Select Publications
Selected publications
  • Rubenstein, LS  Perilous Medicine: The Struggle to Protect Health Care from the Violence of War (New York: Columbia University Press, 2021)
  • Rubenstein, LS, Robinson, W. Courtland, DeCamp, M, Singh, N, Ho, L, Maziak, W et al., "Reality Makes Our Decisions:" Ethical Challenges in Humanitarian Health in Situations of Extreme Violence, Report and Recommendations. 2019.
  • Rubenstein, LS, Amon, JJ, McLemore M, Eba P, Dolan K, Lines R, Beyrer, C. HIV, Prisoners and Human Rights. Lancet 2016; 388:1202-1214.
  • Rubenstein, LS and Mon, S. The Generals in Myanmar are Waging War on Doctors and Nurses. Washington Post, May 20, 2021
  • Rubenstein, LS and Sahloul, MZ, In Syria, Doctors become the Victims, op-ed New York Times, November 19, 2014.
Strengthen Mechanisms to Address Attacks on Health Facilities, Health Workers
Measuring the Impact of Violence Agaisnt Health Care