Margaret Foster Riley

Fast Facts

  • Chair, UVA's Embryonic Stem Cell Research Oversight Committee
  • Director, UVA School of Law Animal Law Program
  • Served on four National Academies of Science committees
  • Expertise in food and drug law, health law, animal law, bioethics, regulation of clinical research, public health law

Areas Of Expertise

  • Domestic Affairs
  • Health
  • Law and Justice
  • Science and Technology
  • Social Issues

Margaret Foster Riley, Dorothy Danforth Compton Professor at the Miller Center, is professor of law at UVA Law School, professor of public health sciences at the UVA School of Medicine, and professor of public policy at the University’s Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. She also directs the Animal Law Program at the law school.

A scholar working in the intersection of law, regulation, policy, and ethics in the Life Sciences, Riley has written and presented extensively about health care law, biomedical research, genetics, food and drug regulation, reproductive technologies, human and animal biotechnology, and public health. She is currently a member of the NIH NExTRAC, a FACA committee that advises the NIH Director on issues concerning emerging biotechnologies. She served on four National Academies committees: the Committees on Revisions to the Common Rule for the Protection of Human Subjects, Assessing Toxicological Risks to Human Subjects, Assessment of the Care and Use of Dogs in Biomedical Research Funded by or Conducted at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and Pain Management and Regulatory Strategies to Reduce Prescription Opioid Abuse (consultant to the committee).

Riley has advised numerous state and federal agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration; the Environment Protection Agency; the Department of Defense; committees of the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine; the Virginia Department of Health; and the Virginia Bar.

Prior to her academic career, Riley was an associate at Rogers & Wells, a law firm in New York, and at Pepper, Hamilton & Scheetz, a law firm in Philadelphia. From 2017-2019, she served as the faculty member of the University of Virginia’s Board of Visitors.

Riley earned her law degree from Columbia University and her BA from Duke University.

Margaret Foster Riley News Feed

The COVID-19 pandemic exposed significant weaknesses in U.S. global health security policy and infrastructure, leading to crises on several fronts. The Miller Center’s new Health Care Policy Project joins Stephen Morrison of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)—also the Miller Center’s James R. Schlesinger Distinguished Professor—along with Tom Inglesby and Anne Zink for a timely and important conversation about what lies ahead for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In January 2023, the CSIS’s Commission on Strengthening America’s Health Security released a compelling report, Building the CDC the Country Needs, which examines why the CDC is essential to protecting the health of Americans and highlights the peril the agency currently faces. Three years into the pandemic, what is the way forward to improve the CDC’s performance and restore the trust and confidence of the American people?
Margaret Riley Miller Center Presents
This event is part of the Miller Center’s new Health Care Policy Project and features Margaret Foster Riley, a professor of law at UVA Law School, the Dorothy Danforth Compton Professor at the Miller Center, professor of public health sciences at the UVA School of Medicine, and professor of public policy at the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy.
Margaret Foster Riley Miller Center Presents
Margaret Foster Riley, Dorothy Danforth Compton Professor at the University of Virginia's Miller Center, led a discussion with Barbara Perry, the Miller Center's director of presidential studies, and UVA law professor Naomi Cahn about the context for and implications of the June 24, 2022 Supreme Court Dobbs ruling.
Margaret Foster Riley UVA Today
A panel of professors and researchers discussed the pandemic’s impact on public health policy Wednesday, the first undertaking of the Miller Center’s Health Care Policy Initiative. The event included discussion about the legacy of COVID-19 in the U.S., how the Biden administration is dealing with the ongoing pandemic, the relationship between pandemics and foreign policy and how individuals can deal with uncertain public health measures as mask mandates are lifted around the country.
Margaret Riley The Cavalier Daily
In early March, the White House unveiled its new coronavirus response strategy aimed at creating what some are calling the beginning of a “new normal” in the nation’s fight against COVID-19. As the Omicron wave continues its decline and several states loosen pandemic-related restrictions, our experts are having a “state of the pandemic” discussion that will assess the rapidly shifting public health approach, what the U.S. role will be in the global efforts to deal with COVID, and what we might expect in the months ahead.
Margaret Riley Miller Center Presents
The Miller Center intends to launch a major initiative on health care policy. This effort will both parallel and engage our existing research programs in the presidency and event programs in national security.
Guian McKee and Margaret Riley