Four Emory professors named to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Four Emory University faculty members have been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honorary societies and a leading center for independent policy research.

Elected this year are:

  • Carlos del Rio, MD, executive associate dean, Emory School of Medicine & Grady Health System; Leon L. Haley Jr. MD Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine; and professor of global health and epidemiology, Rollins School of Public Health
  • Martha Albertson Fineman, Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Law, Emory University School of Law
  • William Herbert Foege, MD, Emeritus Presidential Distinguished Professor of International Health, Rollins School of Public Health
  • Hank Klibanoff, professor of practice, Creative Writing Program, Emory College of Arts and Sciences

“I’m proud to see yet another distinguished class of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences include so many exceptional Emory faculty members,” says President Gregory L. Fenves. “This is a highly deserved recognition of both the excellence and impact that these four scholars have had as researchers, educators, communicators, and innovators across a range of disciplines.”

The Emory professors are among 261 newly-elected members of the American Academy, which was founded in 1780 by John Adams, John Hancock and others who believed the new republic should honor exceptionally accomplished individuals and engage them in advancing the public good. The academy’s dual mission remains essentially the same more than 240 years later, with honorees from increasingly diverse fields and with work focused on the arts, democracy, education, global affairs and science.

“We are celebrating a depth of achievements in a breadth of areas,” says David Oxtoby, president of the American Academy. “These individuals excel in ways that excite us and inspire us at a time when recognizing excellence, commending expertise and working toward the common good is absolutely essential to realizing a better future.”

Carlos del Rio
One of the nation’s foremost experts on infectious disease, Carlos del Rio serves as co-director of the Emory Center for AIDS Research and Co-PI of the Emory-CDC HIV/AIDS Clinical Trials Unit and the Emory Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Unit.

His research focuses on the early diagnosis, access to care, engagement in care, compliance with anti-retrovirals and the prevention of HIV infection. He has worked for more than a decade with hard-to-reach populations, including substance users, to improve outcomes of those infected with HIV and to prevent infection with those at risk.

del Rio’s international work includes collaborations in the countries of Georgia, Ethiopia, Vietnam, Mexico, Kenya and Thailand. He has worked on emerging infections such as pandemic influenza and was a member of the World Health Organization Influenza A (H1N1) Clinical Advisory Group and of the CDC Influenza A(H1N1) Task Force during the 2009 pandemic. He was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2013, and elected International Secretary of the National Academy in 2020.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, del Rio has been a leader locally and nationally, doing research, developing policies, writing scientific publications and making countless media appearances. del Rio has advised municipal, state and national leaders, including Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Tyler Perry Studios, the NCAA, the USTA, Delta Air Lines, United Air Lines, Truist Bank, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and the Atlanta Opera, among others. He also served on the national advisory committee of the COVID Collaborative, which focuses on developing consensus recommendations and engaging with U.S. leaders on effective policy and coronavirus response.

A native of Mexico, del Rio became an American citizen in 2007, and in 2021 the Carnegie Corporation of New York honored del Rio as part of their “Great Immigrants, Great Americans” campaign, celebrating the wide-ranging contributions of naturalized citizens who have strengthened the nation through their lives and examples.

In 2021, del Rio received the City of Atlanta’s highest honor, the Phoenix Award, for his pivotal role in providing civic leaders and the community as a whole with expert medical and public health guidance and support during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Martha Albertson Fineman
Martha Albertson Fineman is an internationally recognized law and society scholar and a leading authority on critical legal theory and feminist jurisprudence.

She is the founding director of the Feminism and Legal Theory (FLT) Project. Begun in 1984, the project holds workshops and “uncomfortable conversations,” hosting visiting scholars from around the world. The project has produced 11 books thus far, including “At the Boundaries of Law: Feminism and Legal Theory,” the first published anthology of feminist legal theory, and “Transcending the Boundaries of Law: Generations of Feminism and Legal Theory,” celebrating the 25th anniversary of the project.

She also is the founder and director of the Vulnerability and the Human Condition Initiative, which emerged from the FLT Project in 2008 and provides a forum for scholars interested in engaging the concepts of “vulnerability” and “resilience” and the idea of a “responsive state” in constructing a universal approach to address the human condition.

An American Bar Foundation Lifetime Fellow, Fineman earlier this year was honored with the Outstanding Scholar Award from the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation. She is the recipient of the 2017 Ruth Bader Ginsburg Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Association of Law Schools, and served as the 2019-2020 Distinguished Lecturer, Hagler Institute for Advanced Study, Texas A&M University. She received the 2018 Kate Stoneman Award from the State University of New York, Albany, and gave the Seeger Lecture on Jurisprudence at Valparaiso University in 2017. She was awarded an honorary degree from Lund University in Sweden in 2013.

Prior to coming to Emory in 2004, Fineman served as the Maurice T. Moore Professor at Columbia University, then joined the Cornell Law School faculty, where she held the Dorothea Clark Professorship, the first endowed chair in feminist jurisprudence in the nation.

William Herbert Foege
Winner of the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012, William Foege received an honorary degree from Emory in 1986 and the Emory University President’s Medal in 2016. He has also served as executive director and fellow for health policy at The Carter Center and as a senior medical adviser for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Foege has championed many issues, but his focus has been children in the developing world. He is a strong proponent of disease eradication and control and has taken an active role in the elimination of Guinea worm disease, polio, measles and river blindness. By writing and lecturing extensively, Foege has broadened public awareness of these issues and brought them to the forefront of domestic and international health policies.

Foege served as chief of the Smallpox Eradication Program of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and was appointed director of the CDC in 1977. In 1984, he and several colleagues formed the Task Force for Child Survival, a working group for the World Health Organization, UNICEF, The World Bank, the United Nations Development Program and the Rockefeller Foundation. Its success in accelerating childhood immunization led to an expansion in 1991 to include other issues that impact children. The organization, headquartered in nearby Decatur, was renamed the Task Force for Global Health and is affiliated with Emory.

Hank Klibanoff
Hank Klibanoff is a veteran journalist, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and Peabody Award-winning podcast host. He co-authored “The Race Beat: The Press, the Civil Rights Struggle, and the Awakening of a Nation,” which won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for history. Prior to joining Emory, he was a reporter and editor for more than 35 years, holding reporting and editing positions in Mississippi, The Boston Globe and The Philadelphia Inquirer, and serving as a managing editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Klibanoff is director of the Georgia Civil Rights Cold Cases Project at Emory, for which students examine Georgia’s modern civil rights history through investigation of unpunished racially motivated murders. His podcast based on the project, titled “Buried Truths,” produced by public radio station WABE, was the winner of Peabody, Robert F. Kennedy and Edward R. Murrow awards.

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