Professor Beletsky holds a joint appointment with the School of Law and Bouvé College of Health Sciences. His expertise is on the use of law to advance public health. Beletsky utilizes empirical and theoretical approaches to analyze how legal mechanisms can help curb substance abuse, prevent the spread of HIV and other infectious diseases, and improve patient care. By highlighting discrepancies between black letter law and its real-world implementation, he also examines the relationship between police practices, public health outcomes, and human rights of vulnerable groups. Beletsky communicates this work to legal, scientific, and mainstream audiences, including as a contributor to the Huffington Post.

Throughout his career, Beletsky has applied his skills and expertise in service to governmental agencies and non-governmental organizations, including UNAIDS, US Department of Justice, the City of New York, and the Open Society Foundations. This involvement has focused on legal reform and programmatic efforts to better align law and policing with community health. Beletsky's commitment to translating lessons learned between domestic and international settings has informed a portfolio of projects across the Americas (US and Mexico), Central and East Asia (China, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan), and Eastern Europe (Russia and Ukraine).

Professor Beletsky's pedagogical approach emphasizes the application of classroom material to real-world issues most relevant to each student. At the School of Law, he currently teaches Drug Law and Policy and Quantitative Methods for Lawyers. His Global Health class at the Bouvé College of Health Sciences is open to law students, graduate students across health sciences, as well as advanced undergraduates. Having immigrated to the US as a teenager and spent considerable time studying abroad, Beletsky welcomes diverse perspectives, backgrounds, and abilities in the classroom.

Prior to joining the Northeastern community, Professor Beletsky was on the faculty of the Division of Global Public Health at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, where he retains an adjunct appointment. He received his undergraduate training in geography from Vassar College and Oxford University, a master's in public health from Brown University, his law degree from Temple University School of Law, and his post-doctoral training at the Yale University Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS. He is a member of the New York State Bar.

Fields of Expertise

  • Public Health Law
  • Drug Law and Policy
  • Criminal Justice and Policing
  • Health and Human Rights
  • Empirical Legal Studies
  • Social Epidemiology
  • Comparative Law
  • Law and Society

Selected Works

Selected Articles

Selected Commentary