Professional Experience

Gulf Center for Human Rights - Special Advisor on Advocacy (January 2017 - Current)

  • 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 

Kurve Wustrow - Trainer  (March 2018)

Organized and co-trained a five day training for human rights defenders from around the world on the basics of human rights, including international human rights law, international mechanisms and institutions and strategies for defending human rights.

Internet Freedom Festival - Consultant  (November 2017 - March 2018)

  • Community Health Lead
    • Wrote four blog posts
    • Participated in the Festival working on creating safe spaces and dealing with any issues/cases arising
    • Organized five sessions and one private meeting on community health

Syria Center for Media and Freedom of Expression - Consultant  (June 2017 – December 2017)

  • Redraw internal organizational structure, including an organigram and job descriptions
  • Develop three-year strategy 
  • Develop short and medium-term financial and fundraising strategy 
  • Produce a mapping of potential funders
  • Develop a media and internal communications guideline 

Co-Director (February 2012 – January 2017) 

Deputy Director (September 2011 – February 2012)

Head of International Office (February 2011 – June 2015) 

  • 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 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  (June 2013 – July 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)
  • 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 (August 2010 – November 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)

  • Ethical data collection
  • Campaigning and advocacy
  • Basic digital security
  • Physical security and risk management
  • Social media for human rights

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 Human Rights and Business
  • 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. Spoke 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