Anne Barnhill, PhD

Associate Research Professor

Anne Barnhill is Core Faculty at the Berman Institute of Bioethics at Johns Hopkins University, and an Associate Research Professor in the Global Food Ethics and Policy Program at the Berman Institute.

Dr. Barnhill is a philosopher and bioethicist who works on a range of issues in the ethics of food and agricultural policy, the ethics of public health, and the ethics of influence.  At the Global Food Ethics and Policy Program, Dr. Barnhill is involved in interdisciplinary research projects on the ethics of food and agricultural policy, including the Beef, Food Choices and Values project. Dr. Barnhill has a forthcoming manuscript (co-authored with Matteo Bonotti) on the ethics and political philosophy of healthy eating policy.  Another area of Dr. Barnhill’s ongoing research is the ethics of nonrational influence and manipulation, including the ethics of commercial marketing, public health messaging, and political influence.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Barnhill has been working on the ethics of COVID reopening policies, vaccine allocation, and digital contact tracing technologies, and the treatment of essential workers.

She received her A.B. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Princeton University and her Ph.D. in Philosophy from New York University.

Research Interests

  • Public health ethics
  • Food and agricultural ethics


  • A.B., Princeton University – Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
  • M.A., Tufts University – Philosophy
  • Ph.D., New York University – Philosophy

Recent Publications

  1. Jeffrey Kahn and the Johns Hopkins Project on Ethics and Governance of Digital Contact Tracing Technologies, Digital Contact Tracing for Pandemic Response: Ethics and Governance Guidance (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2020)
  2. Eric Toner, Anne Barnhill, Carleigh Krubiner, et al. “Interim Framework for COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation and Distribution in the United States.” Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security; 2020.
  3. Justin Bernstein, Brian Hutler, Travis Rieder, Ruth Faden, Hahrie Han, Anne Barnhill, “An Ethics Framework for the COVID-19 Reopening Process” May 2020.
  4. Travis Rieder, Anne Barnhill, Justin Bernstein and Brian Hutler, ““When to Reopen the Nation Is an Ethics Question—Not Only a Scientific One.” The Hastings Center Bioethics Forum, April 28, 2020
  5. Anna H. Grummon, Marissa G. Hall, Jason P. Block, Sara N. Bleich, Eric B. Rimm, Lindsey Smith Taillie, and Anne Barnhill. “Ethical Considerations for Food and Beverage Warnings.” Physiology & Behavior 222 (August 2020): 112930.
  6. Rupali Jayant Limaye, Molly Sauer, Joseph Ali, Justin Bernstein, Brian Wahl, Anne Barnhill, and Alain Labrique, “Building Trust While Influencing Online COVID-19 Content in the Social Media World.” The Lancet Digital Health, (April 2020) S2589750020300844.
  7. Anne Barnhill, Anne Palmer, Christine M. Weston, Kelly D. Brownell, Kate Clancy, Christina D. Economos, Joel Gittelsohn, Ross A. Hammond, Shiriki Kumanyika, and Wendy L. Bennett, “Grappling With Complex Food Systems to Reduce Obesity: A Challenge Facing Public Health,” Public Health Reports 133(1): 44S-53S (2018)