Professor Ahmed is an internationally renowned expert in health law, criminal law and human rights. Her scholarship examines the legal, regulatory and political environments regarding health in US domestic law, US foreign policy and international law. She teaches Property Law, Reproductive and Sexual Health and Rights, and International Health Law: Governance, Development and Rights. Professor Ahmed has been selected as a fellow with the Program in Law and Public Affairs (LAPA) at Princeton University for 2017-2018. She is combining a sabbatical and her fellowship, spending the academic year developing her work on law, feminism and science into a book with particular emphasis on how women’s health advocates shaped the AIDS response. She has also written extensively about abortion and reproductive health.

Professor Ahmed’s scholarship has appeared in the University of Miami Law Review, American Journal of Law and Medicine, University of Denver Law Review, Harvard Journal of Law and Gender, Boston University Law Review (online) and the American Journal of International Law (online), among other journals.

Prior to joining the School of Law, Professor Ahmed was a research associate at the Harvard School of Public Health Program on International Health and Human Rights. She came to that position after a Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellowship with the International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS (ICW). Professor Ahmed has also consulted with various United Nations agencies and international and domestic non-governmental organizations.

Professor Ahmed was a member of the Technical Advisory Group on HIV and the Law convened by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and has been an expert for many institutions, including the American Bar Association and UNDP. In 2016, she was appointed to serve a three-year term on the advisory board of the Northeastern University Humanities Center. 

In addition to her BA and JD, Professor Ahmed holds an MS in population and international health from the Harvard School of Public Health.

Fields of Expertise

  • Civil Rights
  • Comparative Law
  • Development and the Law
  • Domestic Violence
  • Gender and the Law
  • Health Law
  • Human Rights
  • International Law
  • Property
  • Public Health Law
  • Reproductive Rights

Selected Works


  • Feminisim's Medicine: Law, Science, Race, and Gender in an Epidemic (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming).
  • Handbook on Race, Racism, and the Law (Edward Elgar Publishing, forthcoming) (co-editor).
  • Gender Violence (forthcoming) (with Donna Coker, Leigh Goodmark, and Deborah Weisman).
  • Mary Jo Frug's Women and the Law (Foundation Press, 5th ed., forthcoming) (co-editor).

Selected Articles

Selected Chapters

  • “Transnational Law and Global Health: Abortion and AIDS, ”in The Oxford Handbook on Transnational Law, ed. P. Zumbansen (forthcoming 2020).
  • “Commentary on Reynolds v. McNichols,” in U.S. Feminist Judgements: Health Law Decisions Rewritten, eds. L. Wiley et al (forthcoming 2020).
  • “Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights,” in Global Health and Human Rights, eds. L. Gostin et al (forthcoming 2019) (co-author).
  • “Commentary on State v. Oakley,” in The US Feminist Judgements: Reproductive Justice Decisions Rewritten, ed. K. Mutcherson. (forthcoming 2019).
  • “Feminism, Law, and Epidemiology in the AIDS Response,” in Governance Feminism: a Handbook, ed. J.Halley et al  (University of Minnesota Press, 2019).
  • “Theories of State and Family,” in Routledge Handbook of International Family Law (Routledge, 2018). 
  • “Criminalization: A Conversation with Janet Halley,” in Beyond Virtue and Vice: International Human Rights and the Criminalization of Gender, Sexuality and Reproduction, eds. M. Roseman et al (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018).
  • “Addressing HIV/AIDS at the Intersection of Anti-Trafficking and Health Law and Policy,”in Revisiting the Law and Governance of Trafficking, Forced Labor and Modern Slavery, ed. P. Kotiswaran (Cambridge University Press, 2017).
  • “Women's Rights Post-Bandung,” in Bandung, Global History and International Law: Critical Pasts and Pending Futures, eds. V. Nessiah et al (Cambridge University Press, 2017).
  • “Global Health Governance, Harm-Reduction, and Trafficking,” in Shaping the Definition of Trafficking in the Palermo Protocol, ed. P. Kotiswaran (Cambridge University Press, 2017).
  • “No Way Out: The Dual Subordination of Muslim Women in Indian Legal Culture, in Self-Determination and Women’s Rights in Muslim Societies, eds. C. Raghavan et al (Brandeis University Press, 2012).

Selected Commentary