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“Powerful” is how Golda Philip ’08 describes the combination of law and public health.

“Public health looks at populations — it’s a systemic approach,” says Golda, who earned a joint JD/MPH. “Our legal system is set up to be much more case-by-case; it’s a much more individual approach.”

Golda brings this combined worldview to her role at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), where she’s tackling issues of gender parity in the NIH workforce. “Nationally, there aren’t as many women in certain STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields and in certain higher-level positions within STEM professions. Our workforce reflects that,” she says. “My job is to get a handle on where the gaps and inequities are and then craft interventions to address these disparities.”

Solving problems is why Golda sought a law degree in the first place — particularly at Northeastern. “Coming to law school, I wanted tools to better solve problems. Co-op gave me four different opportunities — four different approaches — to do just that.”

Co-op 1

US District Court for the District of Massachusetts, Boston

 As a legal intern for now Chief Magistrate Judge Leo T. Sorokin, Golda drafted decisions, conducted legal research and assisted with the implementation of an innovative drug court program that aims to prevent drug-use recidivism.

Activities

  • Women’s Law Caucus
  • Asian Pacific American Law Students Association

Co-op 2

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Public Health Law Program, Atlanta

Golda researched and wrote an article on how governments can better prepare minority communities for public health emergencies. 

Electives

  • Employment Law
  • Racism and American Law

MPH Courses at Tufts University School of Medicine

  • Nutrition
  • Food Security and Development
  • Seminar in Health Literacy
  • Health Behavior and Health Communication
  • Global Health

Co-op 3

US Senate Judiciary Committee, Washington, DC

Golda monitored legislative and legal developments, prepared briefing memoranda, drafted floor statements and helped assemble experts for a hearing on inadequate counsel in death penalty cases.

Co-op 4

National Women’s Law Center, Washington, DC

Golda worked to advance federal and state health care reform, including the Affordable Care Act, focusing on addressing health inequities and disparities affecting women and their families.

After graduation

  • Fellow, National Women’s Law Center, Washington, DC
  • Equal Opportunity Specialist/Investigator, US Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights, Washington, DC 
  • Federal Women’s Program Manager, National Institutes of Health, Washington, DC

Now

Deputy Director, Office of Equal Opportunity, Civil Rights and Diversity Management, Rockville, MD

Result

An effective advocate for women as they continue to break down barriers to equal opportunity.