• 1809 Ashland Ave.
  • Room 207
  • Baltimore, MD 21205


Ruth Faden

Ruth R. Faden, PhD, MPH, is the founder of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics. She was the Berman Institute’s Director from 1995 until 2016, and the inaugural Andreas C. Dracopoulos Director (2014-2016). Dr. Faden was, and is currently, the inaugural Philip Franklin Wagley Professor of Biomedical Ethics. In the twenty years in which Dr. Faden led the Institute, she transformed what was an informal interest group of Hopkins faculty into one of the leading and largest bioethics programs in the world, with over 35 faculty, 30 staff and more than 100 alumni, including many post-doctoral fellows now in leadership positions in the field. Under her direction, the Berman Institute became a university-wide unit of Johns Hopkins with its own building, reporting to the Provost. Dr. Faden also secured a significant endowment for the Berman Institute, including six endowed professorships and an endowed directorship.

Dr. Faden is a prolific scholar. She is the author and editor of numerous books and many articles on biomedical ethics and public policy, including most significantly Social Justice: The Moral Foundations of Public Health and Health Policy (with Madison Powers) and A History and Theory of Informed Consent (with Tom L. Beauchamp). With Madison Powers, Dr. Faden’s current book project is tentatively titled: Structural Injustice.

Dr. Faden is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and a Fellow of the Hastings Center and the American Psychological Association. She has served on numerous national advisory committees and commissions, including President Clinton’s Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments, which she chaired. Dr. Faden co-launched the Global Food Ethics and Policy Program, sponsor of the 7 by 5 Agenda for Ethics and Global Food Security. She is also a co-founder of the Hinxton Group, a global community committed to advancing ethical and policy challenges in stem cell science, and the Second Wave initiative, an effort to ensure that the health interests of pregnant women are fairly represented in biomedical research and drug and device policies. She is currently leading a project providing ethics guidance on pregnancy and vaccine development for emerging infection.

In 2011, Dr. Faden was the recipient of Lifetime Achievement Awards from the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities (ASBH) and Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research (PRIMR).

Dr. Faden’s current research focuses on global justice theory and on national and global challenges in food and agriculture, learning health care systems, health systems design and priority setting, and access to the benefits of global investments in biomedical research. Dr. Faden also works on ethical challenges in biomedical science, with a particular focus on women’s health.