Anne Barnhill, PhD

Associate Research Professor

Anne Barnhill is Associate Research Professor and Core Faculty at the Berman Institute of Bioethics at Johns Hopkins University.  Dr. Barnhill is a philosopher and bioethicist who works on a range of issues in the ethics of public health, the ethics of food and agriculture, and the ethics of influence.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Barnhill has been researching COVID-19 policymaking and the ethics of COVID-19 policies, including social distancing policies, vaccine policies, and digital contact tracing technologies.  As part of the Global Food Ethics and Policy Program, Dr. Barnhill is involved in interdisciplinary research projects on the ethics of food and agricultural policy. Her recent book, Healthy Eating Policy and Political Philosophy: A Public Reason Approach, co-authored with Matteo Bonotti, explores the ethics and legitimacy of healthy eating policy.

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

Anne Barnhill and Matteo Bonotti, Healthy Eating Policy and Political Philosophy: A Public Reason Approach (Oxford University Press, 2022)

Anne Barnhill, Anne, A. Susana Ramírez, Marice Ashe, Amanda Berhaupt-Glickstein, Nicholas Freudenberg, Sonya A. Grier, Karen E. Watson, and Shiriki Kumanyika. “The Racialized Marketing of Unhealthy Foods and Beverages: Perspectives and Potential Remedies.” Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics 50(1):52-59 (2022)

Justin Bernstein, Anne Barnhill and Travis Rieder, “How Should Governments Make COVID-19 Policy?” The Philosopher’s Magazine, December 25 2021.

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)

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.

Justin Bernstein, Brian Hutler, Travis Rieder, Ruth Faden, Hahrie Han, Anne Barnhill, “An Ethics Framework for the COVID-19 Reopening Process” May 2020.

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.

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)