Kamiar Alaei M.D. is the Director of the Global Institute for Health and Human Rights. He is an expert on HIV/AIDS, International Health and Human Rights. He and his brother Arash co-founded the first "Triangular Clinic" for three target groups in Iran (drug users, HIV patients, and STD cases) to deal with both the biological and social manifestations of the disease. Their approach was documented by the WHO/EMRO as a "Best Practice Model" for HIV/AIDS management in the region. Dr. Alaei co-authored Iran's National Strategic Plan for the Control of HIV/AIDS 2002-2007.
Dr. Alaei’s extensive experience in both clinical patient care and health policy allows him to focus on the intersections between health and law, while remaining sensitive to the needs and realities of vulnerable target groups. The controversial nature of his work, as well as its collaborative and international scope, led to his persecution and eventual imprisonment in Iran with his brother for over 3 years.
Since his release and professional appointment at UAlbany, Dr. Alaei has been preparing to return to his area of expertise, focusing on HIV/AIDS policy and management through an academic perspective with a concentration on the Middle East and Central Asia. He has been travelling back and forth to the Pan American Region as a WHO/ PAHO consultant to expand health and human rights training programs and develop opportunities for research and activism in the region.
Arash Alaei M.D. is the Associate Director of the Institute. He is a physician who broke the existing national silence regarding HIV/AIDS in a very conservative Muslim country like Iran with the help of his brother Kamiar Alaei using the Triangular Clinic model. He and his brother extended their work on HIV/AIDS in other countries such as Afghanistan and Tajikistan by implementing regional training workshops. They have been successful in motivating other Muslim countries to break the existing silence regarding HIV/AIDS by inviting them to visit their Triangular Clinics in Iran.
Dr. Alaei and his brother promoted their scientific collaborations with American experts through establishing regional workshops on HIV/AIDS and inviting well known international experts from Harvard, Yale and Maryland to be partners in these programs. He also continued his cooperation with U.S. scientists to foster medical diplomacy between Iran and the U.S. The brothers also organized summer exchange programs for American students to visit Iran and work with Iranian students on various health and human rights related projects. This international student network strongly influenced Americans and second generation Iranians living in the US by cultivating youth interest in Iran.
In recognition of their work, Dr. Arash Alaei and his brother Kamiar were awarded the Jonathan Mann Award for Global Health and Human Rights by the Global Health Council in June 2011 and World Health Organization/PAHO gave its first Health and Human Rights awards to them in December 2012.
Elizabeth Gray is the Assistant Director for the Institute. She is originally from the Bronx, NY and lived in Ithaca until moving to start college at UAlbany in 2004. She completed a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy in the Honors College with a minor in Planetary Science in 2008 and earned a master’s degree in Philosophy with a concentration in Political and Social Philosophy in 2009. She is also the director and founder of the Wishi Project <http://www.wishi.org> which works with indigenous communities in rural Ecuador to provide educational opportunities and promote the preservation of their traditional culture and lifestyle.
Carlos Ortiz is the web-developer for the Institute.