Dr. ANAND GROVER
UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health
The United Nations Human Right Council appointed Mr Anand Grover as Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health at its eighth session held in June 2008. Mr Anand Grover, a practicing lawyer in the Bombay High Court and the Supreme Court of India, took up his functions as Special Rapporteur on 1 August 2008.
Mr Grover is Director of the Lawyers Collective HIV/AIDS in India, having offices in Mumbai, Delhi, and Bangalore which he co-founded in 1981 with Ms. Indira Jaising, The Unit dealing with HIV/AIDS was established in Mumbai in 1998.
Anand Grover is a pioneer in the field of HIV and has handled several hundred HIV/AIDS related litigations in India. He appeared in the first HIV case relating to the HIV activist, Dominic D Souza, The Lucy D’ Souza case, challenging the isolationist Goa Public Health Amendment Act. He also fought the first case on blood transfusion in the Calcutta High Court, P v. Uol as well as successfully arguing against the patenting of anti-AIDS drug Nevirapine Hemi-hydrate.
Mr. Grover has also appeared in several well known cases as lead counsel in various public interest and human rights matters, including the first HIV case in India relating to employment law, MX v. ZY, the Bombay Pavement Dwellers case, several environmental cases including the Bhopal Gas Disaster case, the Goa Zuari Agrochemicals case, various sexual harassment cases including the India Air Hostess cases, the Shehnaaz Mudhbatakal v. Saudi Arabian Airlines, and various animal rights cases, such as the Camel case, the Kamani Tubes Ltd. Case, and the Garware Nylons Case. He has also acted as an advocate in many important cases regarding the right to marry and the rights of sex workers, such as the Mr. X v. Hospital Z case and the Mumbai Bar Dancers case.
Supported by the Lawyers Collective HIV/AIDS Unit, he drafted the HIV Bill at the request of the Government of India. The Bill is currently under consideration by the Government and is likely to be introduced in Parliament this year.
He serves as member of various renowned health boards. He was a member of the drafting group of the International Guidelines on Human Rights & HIV/AIDS and is currently a member of the Reference Group on Human Rights to Peter Piot, Executive Director, UNAIDS. He is a National Advisory Board Member of International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, a member of the World Care Council, a member of the Board of the International Council of AIDS Service Organizations (ICASO), a member, National Board, AVAHAN, the India AIDS Initiative, Gates Foundation, a member of the Core Group of NGOs representatives in the National Human Rights Commission of India and the member of the National Advisory Board on HIV and AIDS set up the Prime Minister of India.
Amongst many different activities undertaken in the last few years, Mr Grover delivered the Dr Jonathan Mann Memorial Lecture at the International AIDS Conference held in Toronto in August 2006. He was also a key note speaker at the International AIDS Conference on Narcotics and Harm Reduction held in Colombo in August 2007.
Dr. MARIA SOLEDAD CISTERNAS
Vice-President of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Dr. Maria Soledad Cisternas is the Director of the Legal Programme on Disability, Faculty of Law, Diego Portales University and the Vice-President of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. She directs the Legal Programme; organizes rights promotion activities, seminars and other academic extension work; provides legal advice; organizes liaison with legal aid centres; provides actual legal defence; designs projects; delivers lectures; and engages in research and produces publications and special reports for Congress, ministries and national and international agencies.
Main professional activities:
- Director of the Legal Programme on Disability, Faculty of Law, Diego Portales University.
- Leader of legal and interdisciplinary research teams. The research is intended to influence legislation and public policy.
- Planner and organizer of academic extension activities for rights promotion.
- Instructor for courses designed by her: “Vulnerable groups: an emerging human rights issue” and “Bio Law: a modern debate”. Both courses contain sections on persons with disabilities (undergraduate and post-graduate).
- Lecturer on “Constitutional provisions applicable to under-protected sectors” for the Master’s degree in constitutional law at the Universidad Católica de Chile.
- Director of audiovisual projects (substantive aspects) to portray rights in formats accessible to all. Television spots and educational materials (right to vote and job access).
- Member of the Bioethics Committee of Diego Portales University.
- Law degree (graduated with highest honours) from the Universidad Católica de Chile. Thesis: Multinational enterprises: international treatment and regulation. Awarded the title of Supreme Court attorney.
- Master’s studies in political science, Universidad Católica de Chile. Specialized field: Political institutions and processes. Thesis: Democracy and persons with disabilities.
DR. JORGE BERMUDEZ
Vice-President of Health Production and Innovation, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (Fiocruz), Ministry of Health (Brazil)
Dr. Jorge Bermudez, Medical Doctor, MSc in Tropical Medicines, and PhD in Public Health from the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (1995). He was Executive Secretary of UNITAID (2007-2011) in Geneva and Unit Chief for medicines, vaccines and Health Technology at PAHO / WHO (2004-2007). Currently he is Vice President of Production and Innovation in Health, Fiocruz. As a Senior Researcher at the National School of Public Health at the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Dr. Bermudez has experience in Public Health with emphasis in working mainly on access to medicines, public policy, innovation and intellectual property.
Former posts include Director of the National School of Public Health and Director of Far-Manguinhos at Oswaldo Cruz Foundation. He has Published several books, book chapters, and papers dealing with Public Health and Access to Medicines.
CONFERENCE CO-CHAIR BIOGRAPHIES:
DEAN CLAUDIO GROSSMAN
American University Washington College of Law
Claudio Grossman, dean of American University Washington College of Law and the Raymond I. Geraldson Scholar for International and Humanitarian Law, is an expert on international law, human rights, and Inter-American affairs. Grossman was unanimously elected chair of the United Nations Committee against Torture in April 2008, where he has been a member since 2003 and previously served as vice chair (2003-2008). He is also a member of the Commission for the Control of Interpol’s Files. Grossman served as president of the College of the Americas, an organization of colleges and universities in the Western Hemisphere, from November 2003-November 2007. Previously, he was a member of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights from 1993-2001, where he served in numerous capacities including twice as its President (1996 and 2001) as well as the special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous populations and the special rapporteur on women’s rights. He has participated in numerous on-site visits and election-observing missions in Eastern Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. He has also worked on international legal issues with the United Nations and the International Human Rights Law Group (now known as Global Rights). Grossman is fluent in Spanish, French, and Dutch. He is the author of numerous books and articles on international law, human rights, and the law of international organizations.
Dr. SOCORRO GROSS GALIANO
Assistant Director, PAHO/WHO
Dr. Socorro Gross-Galiano is the Assistant Director of the Pan American Sanitary Bureau, which is the Secretariat of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). She oversees the organization’s programs for Family and Community Health; Health Surveillance, Disease Prevention and Control; Sustainable Development and Environmental Health; Technology, Health Care and Research; Health Systems and Services; and Gender, Ethnicity and Health-PAHO’s core programs for providing technical cooperation to its Member States.
Dr. Gross, a national of Costa Rica, obtained her degree in Medicine at the University of Costa Rica in 1982 and a master’s in Epidemiology at the School of Public Health at the University of Texas in 1989. From 1982 to 1984, she was a Physician in Costa Rica attending outpatients, inpatients, emergencies and consultations for chronic terminal patients. In 1984, she became a Research Assistant at the Costa Rican Social Security Institute (CCSS) in San José, where she later became the Chief of the Health Services Research Section from 1985 to 1986. She was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine and Medical Technology at the University of Costa Rica from 1986 to 1989.
PROF. CORRINE PARVER
Founder, Health Law and Policy Project, and Consultant, Program on Law and Government
Ms. Parver designed and implemented the law school’s health law specialization as part of the LL.M. Program on Law and Government’s Administrative and Regulatory Law concentration. She is the Faculty Advisor to the Health Law and Justice Initiative, a student organization, and the WCL Health Law and Policy publication. Prior to joining WCL, she was a Partner in the Washington, DC, office of Dickstein Shapiro Morin & Oshinsky LLP (now: Dickstein Shapiro), where she headed the firm’s Health Law Services Practice, focusing on: fraud and abuse prevention and counseling; health care compliance; reimbursement, coding and coverage of services and devices; privacy; mediation and litigation strategy; legislative and regulatory advocacy; and general health law.
Previously, Ms. Parver was the President of Parver & Associates, a legal and consulting firm, and the President & CEO, National Association for Medical Equipment Services (now American Association for Homecare). She received her Juris Doctor cum laude, December 1982, from American University Washington College of Law, where she was an Assistant Editor of The American University Law Review, and her Bachelor of Physical Therapy degree and P.T. Diploma from McGill University.
MR. JAVIER VASQUEZ
Human Rights Law Advisor, Pan American Health Organization
Mr. Javier Vasquez advises PAHO’s Member States in collaboration with its Representation offices on international human rights issues and strategies to improve the right to the highest attainable standard of health and other related human rights; on the formulation/review of national public health laws, polices, practices; and to structure public health services consistent with international human rights treaties and standards. Serve as the WHO focal point for human rights initiatives in the Americas in collaboration with WHO Headquarters (Geneva). He has officially conducted activities of technical collaboration and officially visited up to date 28 countries of PAHO/WHO. Previously, as a staff attorney for the IACHR, Mr. Vasquez personally handled the first decision issued by the Inter-American System regarding violations to the human rights and fundamental freedoms of a person with a mental disability known as “the case of Victor Congo” which interpreted the American Convention on Human Rights in a manner consistent with international/regional health standards and European Human Rights Jurisprudence in the field of psychiatry and disability rights.
MS. CRISTINA LERIA
International Consultant on Health and Human Rights
Cristina Leria is a lawyer with almost twenty years experience in legal empowerment and international development. Now an independent consultant, Ms. Leria has worked with the Pan-American Health Organization in a variety of capacities since 2008, including most recently as Advisor, Human Rights Law for Health Services. As a member of the PAHO human rights team, she focused on the provision of technical cooperation to PAHO member countries, concerning the application of human rights legal obligations in areas such as medicinal products and technologies, mental health, disability, aging and HIV/AIDs. She has also helped develop and implement capacity building on human rights approaches within PAHO and for national-level public health services.
Prior to her work at PAHO, Ms. Leria was a lawyer at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Rome from 1993 to 2006, where she was extensively involved in FAO’s program of legal assistance to member countries on natural resource management issues. Ms. Leria holds degrees from the American University’s Washington College of Law (LLM, 2009, with a focus on health law and government); London School of Economics (LLM, 1991) and Universidad Autonóma, Madrid, Spain (1990).