Dr. Dafna Feinholz Klip


Chief of Section, Bioethics and Ethics of Science Section, Social and Human Sciences Sector, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

Committee membership

Standing Committee on Ethics


Dr. Dafna Feinholz Klip completed a degree and master (BA and MA 1987-1992) in Psychology at the “Universidad Iberoamericana”, as well as a Ph.D. in Psychological Research (1995- 1997). In addition, she got a Master degree in Bioethics at the “Universidad Complutense de Madrid”, Spain (2002-2005). She also completed courses on Ethical Issues in International Health Research at the School of Public Health at the Harvard School of Public Health, in Boston, Massachusetts (2000); and intensive and updating courses in Bioethics at the Kennedy Institute of Georgetown University (2003); as well as at “El Colegio de México”: “The Perspective of Social Sciences Reproductive Health.

She was the Head of the Reproductive Epidemiology Department at the Mexican National Institute of Perinatology; as well as the Research and Planning Director of the Women and Health Program, at the Ministry of Health (Mexico). She successively occupied the posts of Academic Coordinator of the National Commission of Human Genome at the Ministry of Health; and the Executive Director of the National Commission of Bioethics, achieving a more independent legal status for the National Bioethics Committees, drafting the first national guidelines for Research Ethics Committees and Clinical Bioethics Committees, training their members, and promoting the law at the parliament that is currently in vigour, to legally establish and differentiate both types of committees. She is the founder of FLACEIS (Latin American Forum of Ethics Committees in Health Research) and was the Chairperson (2000- 2006). Invited member of the international expert group, TDR-WHO: Drafting and translating Operational Guidelines for Ethics Committees. She was Mexico´s representative at the meetings of the Intergovernmental Bioethics Committee to discuss the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights.

Her experience with research ethics committees includes her past positions as: Secretary of the Research Ethics Committee at National Institute of Perinatology; Member of the ELSI Committee of the Consortium Promoting the Genomic Medicine Institute; Founder and External member and advisor for the constitution of the National Commission on Research Ethics of the National System of Social Security in Mexico (IMSS); External Member of the National´s Institute for Public Health Ethics in Research Committee; Member of the Family Health International (FHI) Protection of Human Subjects Committee.

Since September 2009, Dafna Feinholz is the Chief of the Bioethics Section, within UNESCO Social and Human Science Sector. In this capacity, she leads different activities aiming at reinforcing capacities of Member States to manage bioethical challenges and to identify the ethical, legal and social implications of cutting-edge science, emerging technologies and their application for sustainable development. She is also the responsible for the secretariat of UNESCO International Bioethics Committee (IBC) and World Ethics Commission of Science and Technology (COMEST).

Her main line of interest and experience are: reproductive health; unexpected pregnancy and abortion; gender; bioethics and reproductive health: research ethics, global bioethics ethics and democracy.

One of her recent distinction is “Awarded Honorary Fellowship of university of Central Lancashire” Uclan (2011).

She has published numerous articles in scientific journals as well as book chapters.

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