Dr. Phelan is a member of the Center for Global Health Science and Security and a Faculty Research Instructor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Georgetown University. She also holds an appointment as Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center.
Dr. Phelan works on legal and policy issues related to infectious diseases, with a particular focus on emerging and reemerging infectious disease outbreaks and international law. She has worked as a consultant for the World Health Organization, the World Bank, and Gavi: the vaccine alliance, and has advised on matters including international law and pathogen sharing, human rights law and Zika, intellectual property law, and contract law. She previously worked for a number of years as a solicitor at a firm in Melbourne, Australia and was admitted to practice to the Supreme Court of Victoria and High Court of Australia in 2010.
Dr. Phelan's doctorate examined how overlap between fields of international law – in particular, global health law, international human rights law, and international environmental law – can serve as the catalyst to progressively develop international law to prevent and respond to infectious diseases. She also holds a Master of Laws, specializing in international law, from the Australian National University and a Bachelor of Biomedical Science/Bachelor of Laws (Honours) double degree from Monash University. She also holds a Diploma of Languages (Mandarin Chinese). Dr. Phelan is a General Sir John Monash Scholar and was recognized as an Associate Fellow of the Royal Commonwealth Society in 2015 for her human rights advocacy during the 2013-16 Ebola outbreak.
Areas of Expertise
International law and global health policy
International Health Regulations
Pathogen and data sharing
Human rights in emerging infectious disease outbreaks
Global health and climate change