The University of Southern California’s Law & Global Health Collaboration advances scholarship and provides monthly lectures and public discussions at the intersection of law and global health.

Virtually all significant global health topics raise challenging legal issues which are better understood and addressed when considered from a multidisciplinary basis. We invite interested students, faculty and staff to partake in a free exchange of ideas and collaboration on these important topics.

Supported by the USC Research Collaboration Fund, Professor Sofia Gruskin, director of the USC Institute on Inequalities in Global Health, leads this collaboration alongside USC Gould Professor of Law and Medicine Alexander Capron and USC Research Professor and Associate Dean of Research Charles Kaplan from the School of Social Work.

Secretariat & Steering Committee:

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Transgender Law & Global Health Working Group

The Transgender Law and Global Health Working Group was first convened in the spring semester of 2019 with the goal of designing a research program and fostering further connections across the various schools of USC of individuals engaged in transgender research and advocacy. Our members come from Annenberg, CHLA, Dornsife, Dworak-Peck, Gould, Keck, and Rossier, and each member is an expert in their respective field(s) or actively engaged with trans issues. After determining common points of interest, we proposed a theory for change for country level policy and legal change in the wake of the new ‘conditions related to sexual health chapter’ of the ICD-11 which now features ‘gender incongruence’ of both adulthood and adolescence, as separate categories. We submitted a proposal for the Provost New Directions in Research and Scholarship Award and received highly positive feedback, even though our application was ultimately unsuccessful. The research program outlined a potential collaborations between USC and the city and county of Los Angeles, with a similar program done with our partners in Nairobi, Kenya, as well as a global Summit to be hosted at USC bringing together a range of expertise to strengthen this initiative. As a next step, we plan to develop an evaluation mechanism that can show compliance (or non-compliance) with the ICD-11 as it pertains to transgender/gender-variant populations, and suggest mechanisms for moving into compliance, and present this for feedback and development at such a Summit. Two members of the Working Group, Sofia Gruskin and Avery Everhart, were invited by the World Association for Sexual Health to participate in a consultation meeting on a new initiative by WAS on trans health and rights. That meeting and the subsequent WAS congress were demonstrative of the timeliness of this research and both Sofia and Avery were able to meet with key stakeholders from trans organizations, global NGOs like IPPF, as well as the WHO, and, of course, WAS, to strategize about how to move from the strategic victory of the ICD-11 revisions vis-a-vis transgender health toward actual implementation. Over the next months, we are revising our proposal with an eye to other funding sources given the highly global and multidisciplinary nature of our work.


2019-2020 Lecture Series

Consistent with the activities in previous years, two research working groups are in place. The first concerns the health and rights of transgender populations and builds on work in previous years.  The second is just launching this year and focuses on the legal and regulatory aspects of tech and self-care interventions.  Information about upcoming events, as well as discussion summaries and other relevant documents and links from previous events, are included in the posts below.

2018-2019 Lecture Series

In 2018-2019, the USC Law & Global Health Collaboration focused on the intersections of law and global health as it relates to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). Following the Collaboration’s work of the last two years first on supporting the health and rights of transgender populations and then on the implications of the Trump administration’s policies, the series brought the two streams together to help us move towards research and action in the area of SRHR. Information about the 2018-2019 events, as well as discussion summaries and other relevant documents and links, are included in the posts below.

2017-2018 Lecture Series

In 2017-2018, the USC Law & Global Health Collaboration fostered evidence-based dialogue and research on the implications of the Trump administration’s policies on select law and health topics. From the local to the global, and from climate change to immigrant health, our speaker series helped to set a research agenda relevant to students and faculty from across USC. Information about the 2017-2018 events, as well as discussion summaries and other relevant documents and links, are included in the posts below.

2016-2017 Lecture Series

The 2016-2017 series introduced issues and challenges that arise at the intersection of transgender rights, law and global health. There were also several additional sessions explored a range of interests, including toxic stress. Information about the 2016-2017 events, as well as discussion summaries and other relevant documents and links, are included in the posts below.


Work Output



For two years, beginning in 2014, an exploratory working group of faculty from across the University established the groundwork for the current collaboration. They began by approaching a single topic—the criminalization of HIV transmission—through a multidisciplinary lens.

The group discovered broad commonalities in terms of content and concerns no matter the topic—the importance of how laws are implemented; public health and societal effects; the use of the narrative in framing reference to law; and the relevance of cultural constructs both in how we conceive research questions and how we understand results.


Below are minutes from the meetings that took place during the working group phase.

  1. November 25, 2014—Inaugural Meeting
  2. January 29, 2015—Conceptual and Interdisciplinary Linkages
  3. March 29, 2015—Focus on Criminalization of HIV I
  4. April 14, 2015—Focus on Criminalization of HIV II
  5. September 22, 2015—Orientation for 2015
  6. November 5, 2015—Focus on Aging, Global Health and Law
Working Group

Law & Global Health Working Group Participants:

Baezconde-Garbanati, LourdesBoyd-Judson, LynCapron, AlexanderCousineau, MichaelCruz, DavidFerguson, LauraFinch, CalebGarry, HannahGotsis, MarientinaGruskin, SofiaKaplan, CharlesKumar, ShubhaLakoff, AndrewLevine, PegLewis, LaVonnaMayer, DoePalinkas, LawrencePeet, JessicaRenteln, AlisonRodriguez, YanethRose, AdamSamet, JonathanSood, NeerajWipfli, HeatherWithers, Mellissa