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Eric M. Meslin

  • Mentor 2020
  • Alumni
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President and CEO
Council of Canadian Academies

    Eric Meslin has worked on public health and pandemic emergency issues for many years. His experience includes advising the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Indiana State Department of Health during the 2008-2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic on ethics policies for the allocation of ventilators, distribution of life-saving medicines, altered standards of care for health care providers, and workforce management—all issues germane to the current COVID-19 crisis. During the Ebola outbreak in 2015, Eric Meslin worked with the World Health Organization on developing standards for the ethics of data-sharing, and with the local health care system in Indiana to implement a region-wide consensus statement on ethical practices for treatment of the disease. He has also published on issues applicable to the COVID-19 pandemic, including vaccination policy, bioterrorism, and ethical obligations of clinician-scientists during times of social disruption. Eric Meslin is a member of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation’s COVID-19 Impact Committee.

    As president of the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA), he has also contributed to evidence-based studies which are applicable to COVID-19: Influenza Transmission and the Role of Personal Protective Respiratory Equipment (2007), Health Product Risk Communication (2015), Competing in a Global Innovation Economy (2018), and When Antibiotics Fail (2019).

    Eric Meslin has had a three-decade-long career in academic, government and not-for profit settings focusing on the ethical, social and political implications of health, science, and technology. He joined CCA in 2016 after the prior 15 years at Indiana University where he was Founding Director of the Indiana University Center for Bioethics, and Associate Dean for Bioethics in the School of Medicine. He was IU’s first Endowed Professor of Bioethics and a Professor of Medicine, of Medical & Molecular Genetics, of Bioethics & Law, of Public Health, and of Philosophy. He held academic positions at University of Toronto, University of Western Australia, and Université de Toulouse and is currently Senior Fellow PHG Foundation University of Cambridge. Trained in Canada at York University and the USA at Georgetown University, he has published more than 200 articles, book chapters, and two co-edited books on bioethics issues in genomics, global health, science policy, and human subjects research. His administrative leadership career includes Bioethics Research Director of the Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications (ELSI) program for the Human Genome Project, and Executive Director of the U.S. National Bioethics Advisory Commission appointed by President Clinton. Eric Meslin has advised the World Health Organization, UNESCO, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Genome Canada, and the UK Biobank. Among his honors he is an elected Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, and the Hastings Center, and was appointed a Chevalier de l’ordre national du Mérite by the French government.