Matthew M. Kavanagh, Deputy Executive Director, a.i., Policy, Advocacy and Knowledge

Matthew M. Kavanagh is special adviser to the Executive Director for Policy, Advocacy and Knowledge at UNAIDS, where he is responsible for the organization’s work to advance policy, law and political change to end the AIDS pandemic.

He has worked internationally for more than 20 years at the intersection of global health, politics and law and comes to UNAIDS on secondment from Georgetown University in the United States of America, where he holds faculty appointments in international health and law and is a director at the O’Neill Institute for National & Global Health Law.

A political scientist by training, with a long history in global health policy, he has lived and worked in North America, Africa and Asia conducting research and supporting policy change, including as a visiting researcher at the University of Johannesburg’s Institute for Advanced Constitutional, Human Rights & International Law and South Africa’s Freedom of Expression Institute. Prior to his academic positions, he led transnational policy efforts at nongovernmental organization in the United States and southern Africa focused on HIV and tuberculosis treatment, international trade and water rights. His research has appeared in the Lancet, Foreign Policy, JAMA, Journal of International Affairs, Health & Human Rights and other leading journals and he has been interviewed widely for outlets such as the New York Times, the Mail & Guardian, the Wall Street Journal, the BBC, Al Jazeera and Science Magazine.

He holds a PhD in political science from the University of Pennsylvania, a certificate in health law from Penn Law, a masters in communities and policy from Harvard University and a BA from Vassar College.