Lynn Freedman, JD

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Lynn P. Freedman, JD, MPH, currently directs the Mailman School's Averting Maternal Death and Disability (AMDD) Program, a global program of research, policy analysis, and technical support that, since 1999, has worked with UN agencies, NGOs, and governments in more than 50 countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America to reduce maternal mortality. Before joining the faculty at Columbia University in 1990, Professor Freedman worked as a practicing attorney in New York City. Professor Freedman has published widely on issues of maternal mortality and on health and human rights, with a particular focus on gender and women's health. She also serves on the advisory boards of maternal health projects and human rights projects with programs in Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America.

Academic Appointments

  • Professor, Population and Family Health at the Columbia University Medical Center

Administrative Titles

  • Director, Averting Maternal Death and Disability Project (AMDD)

Credentials & Experience

Education & Training

  • BA, 1976 Yale University
  • JD, 1981 Harvard University Law School
  • MPH, 1990 Columbia University

Committees, Societies, Councils

Member, APHAMember, New York State Bar AssociationMember, Association for Women's Rights in DevelopmentMember, American Society of International Law


Research Interests

  • Global Health
  • Maternal and Reproductive Health

Selected Publications

Freedman, L, Achieving the MDGs: Health Systems as core social institutions Development 48(1) 19-24 2005Freedman L, Waldman R, de Pinho H, Worth M, Chowdhury AMR, Rosenfield A, "Who's Got the Power: Transforming Health Systems for Women and Children" UN Millennium Project Task Force on Child Health and Maternal Health New York, NYFreedman L Strategic advocacy and maternal mortality: moving targets and the Millennium Development Goals Gender and Development 11(1) 97-108 2003Freedman L Shifting visions: "delegation" policies and the building of a "rights-bsed" aproach to maternal mortality Journal of the American Medical Women's Association 57(3) 154-158 2002Freedman L Using human rights in maternal mortality programs: from analysis to strategy International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics 75 51-60 2001Marlene Goldman and Maureen Hatch Women and Health Academic Press New York 428-438 2000Freedman L Human rights and the politics of risk and blame: lessons from the international reproductive health movement Journal of the American Medical Women's Association 52 165-168 1997Freedman L The challenge of fundamentalism Reproductive Health Matters 8 55-69 1996Freedman L Reflections on emerging frameworks of health and human rights Health and Human Rights 1(4) 315-348 1995Article 19, The Right to Know: Human Rights and Access to Reproductive Health Information University of Pensylvannia Press Philadelphia 1995

Global Health Activities

Averting Maternal Death and Disability (AMDD) Program: In February 2005, Prof. Freedman became director of AMDD, which works in over 50 countries to reduce maternal mortality by increasing access to and utilization of emergency obstetric care. Before that, Prof. Freedman was part part of the core management team of AMDD and led the program's efforts to integrate a human rights perspective into the program's strategies and implementation efforts.UN Millennium Project Task Force on Child Health and Maternal Health: The Task Force on Child Health and Maternal Health was one of 10 Task Forces of the UN Millennium Project established by the Secretary General of the United Nations to provide a road map for countries to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Since the Task Force's creation in 2002, Prof. Freedman has served as senior advisor and was lead author of the Task Force's Final Report "Who's Got the Power: Transforming Health Systems for Women and Children, which focus on the importance of developing health systems.Law and Policy Project: The Law and Policy Project works with NGO networks, human rights organizations, and women's health organizations in the US and internationally, to address the legal and policy dimensions of health, with a particular emphasis on women's reproductive health.