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Quentin Palfrey

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Quentin Palfrey is a co-Director of Global Access in Action, a project of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University that conducts action-oriented research into access to lifesaving medicines, and alternative incentives for the development of medical treatments for underserved populations. Palfrey previously served as Executive Director of J-PAL North America, which works to improve the effectiveness of social programs through research, policy outreach, and capacity building. Based at MIT, J-PAL North America seeks to help decision-makers use research evidence in policy decisions and program design and to provide training courses on the value of impact evaluation. From 2011 to 2013, he was Senior Advisor for Jobs & Competitiveness in the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy. While there, he served as lead White House policy staffer on a successful patent reform effort that led to the signing of the America Invents Act. He also coordinated White House input into a report to Congress on the national strategy for innovation and competitiveness, and was involved in a wide range of other initiatives including the launch of Patents for Humanity and the re- launch of the Privacy & Civil Liberties Oversight Board. Prior to joining the White House, Quentin was the Deputy General Counsel for Strategic Initiatives at the US Department of Commerce. Additionally, he served as lead lawyer on developing Department views on many cases in litigation at the US Supreme Court and US Courts of Appeals. From 2007 to 2009, Quentin was Chief of the Health Care Division in the Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General. A lawyer by training, Quentin holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School and has worked as an attorney in private practice at the law firms WilmerHale and Cravath, Swaine & Moore.

Projects & Tools

Global Access in Action

Global Access in Action, a project of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, conducts action-oriented research into access to lifesaving medicines,… More


Jun 15, 2017

Expanding Access to Medicines and Promoting Innovation: A Practical Approach

Pharma companies can increase access to medicines and spur new R&D by replicating industry best practices, Harvard team argues in new paper More


The Wall Street Journal

Google, Apple Struggle to Regulate Covid-19 Tracing Apps

Quentin Palfrey led research study of more than 100 apps

Jun 5, 2020

Wanted: New Tools To Tame the Wild West of the Internet

It is time for a coordinated effort between government, law enforcement, and developers to create an Internet we can trust.

Apr 28, 2020

Don’t Price Poor Countries Out of the Market For COVID-19 Vaccines & Treatments

As scientists scramble to develop effective diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines for COVID-19, we must make sure that everyone around the world has access to lifesaving medicines…

Apr 24, 2020


Apr 27, 2020 @ 12:00 PM

[Virtual] Borderless COVID-19, Restricted Vaccines

Video & Podcast: Assessing the global pricing of vaccines and treatments

Video & Podcast: Borderless Covid-19 confronts restricted vaccine More

Oct 24, 2018 @ 8:00 AM

Drug Pricing Policies in the United States and Globally

From Development to Delivery

Join us for a one-day conference exploring the current pharmaceutical pricing landscape. This event will bring together leaders from the pharmaceutical industry, policymakers,… More

Jun 26, 2017 @ 12:00 PM

Expanding Access to Medicines and Promoting Innovation

A Practical Approach

Global Access in Action: Conversations in Global Health, Innovation, & the Digital World More

Nov 16, 2016 @ 1:00 PM

Transparency and Freedom of Information in the Digital Age

This symposium seeks to examine the present state of play with respect to transparency and freedom of information. More