Western Region Leaders

James G. Hodge, Jr.

Principal Investigator/ Director

(480) 727-8576


James Hodge

James G. Hodge, Jr., J.D., LL.M., is the director of the Network's Western Region Office. He is Professor of Public Health Law and Ethics and Director of the Center for Public Health Law and Policy, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University. Through scholarship, teaching, and projects, Professor Hodge delves into multiple areas of health law, public health law, global health law, ethics, and human rights. He has published more than 200 articles in journals of law, medicine, public health and bioethics; 2 books in public health law (including Public Health Law in a Nutshell (3rd ed. 2018); 25 book chapters; dozens of reports; and guest edited 4 symposium issues. He is listed among the Top 20 Most-Cited Health Law Scholars in Web of Science (2013-2017) and is regularly ranked among the top 3% of all downloaded authors in the Social Science Research Network (SSRN).  The recipient of the 2006 Henrik L. Blum Award for Excellence in Health Policy from the American Public Health Association, Professor Hodge has drafted (with others) several public health law reform initiatives including the Model State Emergency Health Powers Act in 2001. His diverse, funded projects include work on (1) emergency legal preparedness; (2) health impact assessments; (3) health information privacy; and (4) vaccination laws and policies.

April Shaw

Staff Attorney

(480) 727-2091


Dr. April Shaw is the Research Scholar at the Center for Public Health Law & Policy at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. She previously worked as an attorney at the Project on Predatory Student Lending at the Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School and, prior to that, as a senior law clerk at the Arizona Court of Appeals, Division One. Before entering the legal field, April was a lecturer in the Philosophy Department at Texas A&M University. April received her J.D. with distinction from the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law in 2015. She earned her Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2010, as well as a Graduate Certificate in Women & Gender Studies. Her research interests include gender justice, racial justice, and reproductive rights. Her article on how state statutes prohibiting race- and sex-selective abortions employ longstanding racial stereotypes to place greater, and unwarranted, scrutiny on women of color who exercise their reproductive rights won the Sarah Weddington Writing Prize for New Student Scholarship in Reproductive Rights Law.

Leila Barraza


(520) 626-0720


Leila Barraza, J.D., M.P.H., is an Assistant Professor in Community, Environment & Policy at the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, University of Arizona, and a Consultant for the Western Region of the Network for Public Health Law.  Her research interests include studying the impact of laws and regulations on population health, both nationally and globally.  Previously, Professor Barraza served as Deputy Director of the Network for Public Health Law – Western Region Office and a Fellow and Adjunct Professor in the Public Health Law and Policy Program at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University.  She has been published in several scholarly journals, including the JAMA, American Journal of Public Health, Public Health Reports, Preventing Chronic Disease, Cancer, Duke Forum for Law & Social Change, Jurimetrics Journal, Annals of Health Law, and Journal for Law, Medicine, and Ethics.  Professor Barraza instructs a public health law course for public health and law students, and she has also provided numerous presentations at national and local conferences on a variety of critical public health law issues.  She received her J.D., with a Certificate in Law, Science, and Technology, from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and her M.P.H. from the Zuckerman College of Public Health.  She also received a B.A. in Biological Sciences from the University of Southern California.  Professor Barraza worked for the Center for Rural Health (formerly Rural Health Office) at the Zuckerman College of Public Health, providing assistance to rural and tribal hospitals and clinics, prior to attending law school.  Following law school, Professor Barraza served as a Law Clerk for the Arizona Court of Appeals, Division One.