Abigail English is Director of the Center for Adolescent Health & the Law in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The Center is a nonprofit legal and policy organization that works nationally to promote the health of adolescents and their access to comprehensive health services. The Center’s work addresses a broad range of cross-cutting issues including consent, confidentiality, and financial access to services. The Center’s work emphasizes the needs of vulnerable adolescents, including those who are living in poverty, homeless, or in state custody.
Ms. English has worked on legal and policy issues affecting adolescents’ access to health care for more than 25 years. Before founding the Center for Adolescent Health & the Law, she worked at the National Center for Youth Law in San Francisco (1976-1998). She has taught at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Public Policy, the Boalt Hall School of Law at UC Berkeley, and the School of Public Health at UNC Chapel Hill, where she is an adjunct faculty member. She has participated in major litigation affecting the legal rights of children and adolescents, authored numerous publications, and lectured widely to youth-serving professionals. Ms. English served on the Advisory Panel for the Adolescent Health Study of the Office of Technology Assessment (1989-1991) and the Forum on Adolescence of the Institute of Medicine (1997- 2000). She received the Award for Outstanding Achievement in Adolescent Medicine from the Society for Adolescent Medicine in 2000, the Gallagher Lectureship from the Society for Adolescent Medicine in 1987, and the National Child Advocacy Award from the Young Lawyers’ Division of the American Bar Association in 1997. She will begin serving as President-Elect of the Society for Adolescent Medicine in 2006. Ms. English received her undergraduate degree from Harvard University and her law degree from the Boalt Hall School of Law at University of California at Berkeley.