Professional Experience


Physicians for Human Rights

Europe Director and Interim Advocacy Director, Aug 2018 – October 2019

● Aid in the management and oversight of the Advocacy department functions and the department’s staff, including hiring new staff.

● Develop and implement opportunities to build PHR’s brand (recognition) in Europe, including via the maximization of the use of PHR’s research for policy change and international justice processes; add PHR’s voice to help positively shape advocacy/policy discussions in key policy forums in Europe.

● Develop and maintain key NGO partnerships, grow opportunities for innovating PHR’s work, increase impact through identifying and supporting work in partnerships and coalitions.

● Help locate experts and cultivate relationships with medical organizations and health professionals who can carry messages and support advocacy.

● Fundraise from EU, national governments and private foundations, building and strengthening relationships with funders.

● Research non-profit legal registration options, tax and banking systems.

● Strategize to build a PHR presence in Europe and aid in the development of goals and activities for Europe-based work.

● Lead research and advocacy strategy on rapid response in Sudan.

● Implement advocacy strategy in Europe, Asia and the US.

● Build relationships with the media, represent PHR in interviews.

● Strategy and decision on involvement in new country situations.

● Providing assessment, input and training on security protocols, including digital security.

● Create and implemented advocacy ToCs for the different country situation PHR covers.

● Travel to represent PHR at international events and conferences.

● Draft, review and edit press releases, reports and statements. 

Gulf Center for Human Rights

Special Advisor on Advocacy, Jan 2017 – Jul 2018

● Oversee the planning, implementation and evaluation of advocacy strategy in alignment with the strategic plan

● Identify and analyze external issues that affect the organization in relation to advocacy

● Participate in advocacy efforts at international fora, including prominent intergovernmental organizations and foreign governments

● Act as a spokesperson for the organization, including through media interviews 

● Lead outreach to media outlets to increase organizational exposure 

● Communicate with stakeholders regarding the work of the organization and changes in the region that impact human rights defenders 

● Establish collaborative working relationships with funders, politicians and organizations to help achieve the goals of the organization 

● Develop strong partnership with networks for women human rights defenders (WHRDs), helping provide training and implementation of secure communications networks; providing support and advocacy; and increasing support to WHRDs from the Gulf region

 Internet Freedom Forum

Consultant, Nov 2017 – Mar 2018

● Community Health Lead

o Wrote four blog posts

o Participated in the Festival working on creating safe spaces and dealing with any issues/cases arising

o Organized five sessions and one private meeting on community health

Syria Center for Media and Freedom of Expression 

Consultant, Jun 2017 – Dec 2017

● Redraw internal organizational structure, including an organogram and job descriptions

● Develop three-year strategy plan 

● Develop short and medium-term financial and fundraising strategy 

● Produce a mapping of potential funders

● Develop a media and internal communications guideline 

Gulf Center for Human Rights

Co-Director ,Feb 2012 – Jan 2017

Deputy Director,  Sep 2011 – Feb 2012

Head of International Office, Feb 2011 – Sep 2011

● Managed ongoing development of a strategic plan to guide the organization 

● Developed an operational plan in order to achieve our impact goals within the strategic plan

● Oversaw the planning, implementation and evaluation of the organization's programs and services, including special projects

● Acted as a spokesperson for the organization, including representation at international and regional fora

● Ensured that the operation of the organization meets the expectations of key stakeholders

● Identified, analyzed and informed the Advisory Board of internal and external issues that affect the organization 

● Worked with the Chair of the Advisory Board and fundraising staff to develop budget and secure adequate funding for the operation of the organization

● Identified risks to the organization's personnel, finances and image, and implemented measures to control risks

● Determined staffing requirements, oversaw the recruitment of staff and the implementation of human resources policies, procedures and practices

● Managed two lawsuits against the British government, one successful and one ongoing

● Launched an innovative project focused on changing existing mechanisms for the protection of WHRDs from being reactive to preventative

● Coordinated and executed a field mission to meet and interview WHRDs working on women’s rights in Iraqi Kurdistan, as well as a field mission to document violations against Syrian civil society

● Directed mobilization of international efforts, including UN bodies and international human rights organizations, for developing and executing advocacy strategies in order to support human rights defenders at risk in the Gulf countries. 

International Federation for Human Rights 

Expert Jun 2013 – Jul 2013

● Took part in a fact-finding mission team in Turkey during the Gezi protest movement based on an invitation as a human rights expert, with a focus on less lethal weapons. 

Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) 

Acting President   May 2011 – May 2014 

● Oversaw all activities in the Center, during which time the organization won several awards and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

● Managed a team of more than seven people

● Organized all the documentation coming in and managed turning it into reports and statements

● Maintained international relations

● Successfully led the first Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) complaint against an EU based spyware company (FinFisher and Gamma)

● Led filing of torture lawsuit against Nasser Hamad Alkhalifa (Bahrain King’s son) in UK courts

● Led on campaign to prevent sales of crowd control weapons to Bahrain by US government, leading to the ban of all crowd control gear to Bahrain under the Leahy Law

Head of Foreign Relations Aug 2010 – Nov 2012

● Documented human rights violations in Bahrain, including: weapons used, extra judicial killings and injuries, torture and degrading/inhumane treatment

● Assisted the HRW Emergency Response team during their mission to Bahrain in February 2011. 

● Reported to international bodies such as the EU and UN

● Worked with NGOs such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, IFEX, and FIDH

● Wrote reports and statements as well as documenting cases and participating in seminars

● Participated in the Human Rights Council sessions at the United Nations in Geneva

● Met with the EU bodies in Brussels and members of the US Government

● Spoke at renowned universities about the human rights situation in Bahrain

-————————————FREELANCE WORK ——————————-——

Professional Trainer  2011 - Current

See dedicated tab

Business and Human Rights  2015 - Current

● Conducted workshops for and did meetings with business in Norway in cooperation with the Rafto Foundation and the Institute for Business and Human Rights

● Guest lecturer at the University of Bergen on business and human rights

Public Speaking  2011 - Current

● Given talks at elite universities and institutions around the world, including Brown, Oxford, London School of Economics, Yale, Columbia, NYU, SOAS, Stanford and Harvard. Spoken on high-level panels and gave several Tedx talks. 

Awards and Recognition

Golden Butterfly Award - 2015

MENA Most Influential Women - 2014

Rafto Prize Laureate - 2013

Nobel Peace Prize Nominee - 2013

UNESCO Prize - 2012

Top 100 Global Thinkers - 2012

The Stieg Larsson Prize - 2012

Freedom Award - 2012


University of Bahrain – Class of 2009

Bachelor of Arts in English Literature with a Minor in American Studies  


  • Organizational management
  • Strategic planning
  • Capacity building
  • Project management
  • Innovative approaches to campaigns
  • Strategic communication 
  • Policy analysis
  • Social media
  • Fundraising
  • Volunteer management
  • Community outreach
  • Written and oral communication skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Creative and proactive problem-solving