Joanne Csete is senior program officer for the Global Drug Policy Program. Prior to joining the Open Society Foundations, she was associate professor at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health in New York, where her research focused on health services for marginalized and criminalized populations, especially people who use illicit drugs, sex workers, prisoners and detainees, and people living with HIV.
As the founding director of the HIV and Human Rights Program at Human Rights Watch, Csete oversaw the building of a body of research on human rights abuses as barriers to access to HIV services and conducted advocacy with many governments on removing those barriers. She was executive director of the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network in Toronto, one of the world’s leading health and human rights research and advocacy organizations. She was previously a senior technical advisor at UNICEF and taught at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She worked on health programs in Africa for over ten years.