Curriculum Vitae Biosketch

  • Distinguished Professor, Philosophy
  • Adjunct Professor, Family And Preventive Medicine
  • Adjunct Professor, Internal Medicine
  • Adjunct Professor, Political Science Department
  • Distinguished Professor, College Of Law



  • Ph.D. 1974, Philosophy, University of Michigan. Project: Impartiality and the Justification of Moral Principles
  • JD 1981, Law, University of Utah

Honors & Awards

  • President. American Philosophical Association, Pacific Division, 07/01/2015
  • President-Elect. American Philosophical Association, Pacific Division, 04/2014
  • Distinguished Professor. University of Utah, 05/08/2009
  • Rosenblatt Prize for Excellence. University of Utah, 05/2000


Leslie P. Francis holds joint appointments as Alfred C. Emery professor of law and professor of philosophy, and adjunct appointments in Family and Preventive Medicine (in the Division of Public Health), Internal Medicine (in the Division of Medical Ethics), and Political Science. She was appointed to the rank of Distinguished Professor in 2009 and became director of the University of Utah Center for Law and Biomedical Sciences in 2015.  Professor Francis received a B.A. from Wellesley College, where she graduated with high honors in philosophy and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She received a Ph.D. in philosophy (1974) from the University of Michigan. After joining Utah's philosophy faculty, she received her J.D. from the University of Utah (1981) and served as a law clerk to Judge Abner Mikva on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Appointed to the law faculty in 1982, she teaches and writes extensively in the areas of health law, bioethics, and disability. Professor Francis became the President-Elect of the Pacific Division of the American Philosophical Association in 2014 and currently serves as President of the Division.  She is also the elected Secretary-General of the International Society for Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy and a member of the Ethics Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.  She is past co-chair of Privacy, Confidentiality, and Security Subcommittee of the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics, where she currently serves as a member of the Working Group on Data Access and Use. Professor Francis also has been a member of the Medicare Coverage Advisory Committee and of the American Bar Association's Commission on Law and Aging.

In the College of Law, Professor Francis teaches contracts, disability law, health law, and bioethics and the law. In the Department of Philosophy, she teaches bioethics, environmental ethics, and philosophy of law. 

Professor Francis's books include The Patient as Victim and Vector: Ethics and Infectious Disease (co-authored with Battin, Jacobson, & Smith; Oxford University Press 2010); Privacy: What Everyone Needs to Know (co-authored with John Francis; Oxford, forthcoming 2016); and Sustaining Surveillance: the Ethics and Politics of Public Health Data Use (co-authored with John Francis; forthcoming Springer 2016).  She is also currently editing the Oxford Handbook of Reproductive Ethics (Oxford, in press).


  • French, functional.