Lisa Eckenwiler

Lisa Eckenwiler

Lisa Eckenwiler


Bioethics, health care ethics, public health ethics, feminist ethical and political theory

Lisa Eckenwiler is a Full Professor in the Department of Philosophy and the Department of Health Administration and Policy, and former Director of Health Ethics at George Mason University. She is currently the faculty director for the Global Health Fellows Program, a joint program of the Departments of Philosophy and Global Affairs. Her research focuses on global health inequities, refugees, migrants and other vulnerable populations, and humanitarian health ethics. 

Dr. Eckenwiler is also carrying out research and writing on the relationship between place and health justice. Current projects focus on the understanding and operationalization of "vulnerability" in the work of humanitarian health organizations, the integration of migrants and refugees with disabilities and health justice, the ethics of closing humanitarian projects, and "ethical place-making" and health justice for the chronically displaced.

Professor Eckenwiler has published widely on research ethics, especially on issues concerning vulnerable populations and the process of ethical review. She is the author of Long Term Care, Globalization, and Justice (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012) and has also written on: the ethical implications of initiatives in biodefense and emergency preparedness, the ethics of the international recruitment of health workers, access to health care for undocumented care workers, and access to AIDS care for the homeless.  Her first book, The Ethics of Bioethics: Mapping the Moral Landscape (co-edited with Felicia Cohn and published by Johns Hopkins University Press in 2007) is now a staple in the field, widely used by scholars and graduate students.

Professor Eckenwiler earned her B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her Ph.D. in philosophy with a concentration in bioethics from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.  Prior to joining the faculty at George Mason University she was Associate Professor of Philosophy and Co Director of the Institute for Ethics and Public Affairs at Old Dominion University.  From 2002-2003, she served as Director for the Consortium to Examine Clinical Research Ethics at the Center for the Study of Medical Ethics and Humanities at Duke University.  In 2006 she was a Visiting Fellow at the Center for American Progress in Washington, D.C.  The Universite de Montreal’s Centre de Recherche en Ethique hosted her in the summer of 2008 as a Visiting Senior Fellow. Professor Eckenwiler is an active member of the American Philosophical Association, the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities, the American Public Health Association, the International Association of Bioethics, and the International Network for Feminist Approaches to Bioethics (FAB).  She serves on the advisory board for FAB as well as on the editorial board of the International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics.  She is also the US Representative for FAB and the Coordinator of Country Representatives. 

Selected Publications

“Care Worker Migration and Transnational Justice,” Journal of Public Health Ethics, Vol. 2, no. 2 (July 2009): 171-183

with Zahra Meghani, “Care for the Caregivers?: Transnational Justice and Undocumented Non-Citizen Care Workers,” International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics, vol. 2, no. 1 (Spring 2009): 77-101

“The WHO Code on the Recruitment of International Health Personnel: We’ve Only Just Begun,” Developing World Bioethics vol. 9, no. 1 (April 1, 2009): ii-v

Michael Goodyear, Lisa Eckenwiler, and Carolyn Ells, “Mapping a Fresh Course for Helsinki” BMJ 337 (October 17, 2008): 2128

with Carolyn Ells, Dafna Feinholz, and Toby Schonfeld, "Hopes for Helsinki: Re-thinking Vulnerability," Journal of Medical Ethics vol. 34, no. 10 (October 2008): 765-766

with Carolyn Ells, Dafna Feinholz, and Toby Schonfeld, "Helsinki through a Feminist Lens," International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics vol. 1, no. 1 (Spring 2008): 161-177

Grants and Fellowships

  • "Ethics and the Closure of Humanitarian Health Projects," co-investigators McGill University, funded by the Reseau de Recherche en Santé des Populations du Quebec.

  • "Vulnerability and Justice in Global Health Emergency Regulation: Developing future ethical models," co-investigators Universities of Edinburgh, Montreal, McGill, Newcastle, Munich, and Johns Hopkins, funded by the Wellcome Trust.

  • "Structural vulnerability, health and justice: Refugees with disabilities and integration in Canada," co-investigators University of Montreal, funded by the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

Courses Taught

PHIL 309 Bioethics

PHIL 642 Bioethics

PHIL344 Ethical Issues in Global Health

PHIL -/NURS 660 – Seminar in Health Care Ethics

PHIL 645 Research Ethics

PHIL/HAP 714 – Ethical Issues in Health Administration and Policy

PHIL/HAP tbd – Ethical Issues in Public Health