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Gene W. Matthews, JD

Network for Public Health Law  
Chapel Hill, NC​

Gene W. Matthews, JD, serves as senior investigator at the North Carolina Institute for Public Health (NCIPH) at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health. Gene previously served as chief legal advisor to CDC in Atlanta from 1979 to 2004, directing a legal staff that grew to 30 persons. During that 25‐year span, he handled a wide range of precedent‐setting public health law issues and litigated key public health lawsuits and civil discovery cases. Over the past decade, Gene has provided leadership for the founding and development of the modern public health law movement. As a senior fellow at NCIPH, Gene led a national public/private partnership initiative, funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, designed to develop common legal preparedness agendas regarding liability laws during emergencies. Gene currently conducts legal research and provides technical assistance to public health practitioners on many legal topics. He also teaches courses on leadership in health law and ethics for the UNC Doctoral Program in Health Leadership. Gene is widely published and is frequently called upon to lecture on cutting‐ edge legal issues such as emergency preparedness; federalism; and future trends in public health leadership. Gene received the Distinguished Career Award of the Public Health Law Association “…in recognition of a career devoted to using law to improve the public’s health.” He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina School of Law and is a member of the North Carolina Bar.
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