Lawyer Detail

Gene Matthews


The Network for Public Health Law - Southeastern Region Office

University of North Carolina
Campus Box 8165 
Chapel Hill, NC 27599


Areas of Expertise

  • Advocacy & Lobbying
  • Public Health Agency Structure, Organization & Accreditation

Available For

  • Referrals
  • Speaking Engagements
  • Technical Assistance



Publications and Research


Gene W. Matthews, J.D., is the Director of the Southeastern Region Office of the Network for Public Health Law, located in Chapel Hill, NC and funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. He also serves as Senior Fellow at the North Carolina Institute for Public Health (NCIPH) at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health. Gene previously served as chief legal advisor to CDC in Atlanta from 1979 to 2004, directing a legal staff that grew to 30 persons. Over the past decade, Gene has provided leadership for the founding and development of the modern public health law movement. As a Senior Fellow at NCIPH, Gene led a national public/private partnership initiative, funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, designed to develop common legal preparedness agendas regarding liability laws during emergencies. Gene currently conducts legal research and provides technical assistance to public health practitioners on many legal topics. He also teaches courses on leadership in health law and ethics for the UNC Doctoral Program in Health Leadership. Gene is widely published and is frequently called upon to lecture on cutting-edge legal issues such as emergency preparedness, federalism, and future trends in public health leadership. Gene received the Distinguished Career Award of the Public Health Law Association “…in recognition of a career devoted to using law to improve the public’s health.” He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina School of Law and is a member of the North Carolina Bar.


  • Public Health and Moral Intuition: How We Can Tell Richer Stories About Our Work – 2015 Public Health Law Research Annual Meeting. January 15, 2015.
  • Community Health Needs Assessment Analysis: A Driver for New Public Health Collaborations in North Carolina - 2015 Public Health Law Research Annual Meeting.  January 15, 2015.
  • Public Health Law Year in Review: 2011-12 – Public Health Law Conference. October 10, 2012.
  • Public Health Law Implications of Cross Jurisdictional Sharing Arrangements – National Network of Public Health Institutes Annual Conference. May 23, 2012.