Amy Hsieh ’11 was awarded the prestigious Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellowship from Georgetown University Law Center, the first for a Brooklyn Law School graduate. The fellowship is designed to provide professional development opportunities for attorneys who are dedicated to using their legal talents to advance women’s rights. Through this fellowship, Hsieh will advocate on behalf of women living with HIV/AIDS in international communities by working at the public interest organization, ICW Global (International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS).
“I’ve been interested in working with vulnerable populations in the health context both from a personal and a professional experience,” Hsieh said. “Health is a key factor to people’s ability to engage in society. Policy that shapes how people experience their health is important.”
Hsieh came to Brooklyn Law School after receiving her MPA in Health Policy and Management from the NYU Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service and her BA from Barnard College, Columbia University. She already has had significant experience in public service, working at the Social Security Administration, the United Nations, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the New York Attorney General, and several nonprofit organizations.
During law school, she was actively involved in the Moot Court Honor Society, was an Edward V. Sparer Public Interest Fellow and a BLSPI Fellow, and worked with Professors Stacy Caplow and Dan Smulian at the Safe Harbor Clinic. Hsieh was a co-founder of the Health Law and Policy Association and of the Health Law and Policy Fellowship. In addition, it was the combination of these experiences and her involvement with the Center for Health, Science and Public Policy through her Health Law and Policy Fellowship and her relationship with its Director, Professor Karen Porter that led to her apply to the Georgetown Law Fellowship. “This opportunity would not have been possible had Professor Porter not told me about it and encouraged me to apply,” Hsieh said. “Earning my MPA helped me to think about shaping policy. Earning my J.D. and being involved in the Moot Court Program trained me to think critically and speak effectively. The Clinical program allowed me to apply these skills and prepared me to advocate for women’s rights in this capacity.”
While at ICW Global, Hsieh will represent women living with HIV/AIDS at various global organization meetings, including UN agency policy meetings designed to develop programs in developing countries that eliminate new HIV infections among children and improve the lives of those living with HIV/AIDS.
“There’s a lot more that can be done in this area,” Hsieh said. “The common understanding is that mothers living with HIV don’t go to clinics because of the stigma attached. But if we unpack that structural barrier further, we find that many gender inequities contribute to their lack of care and treatment. Our goal is to empower women living with HIV/AIDS to participate in the development of gender-sensitive programming that breaks down these barriers so that they may seek care and keep their children HIV-free.”