Julie de Rivero joined Human Rights Watch as Geneva Advocacy Director in August 2007. Before joining Human Rights Watch, de Rivero worked with the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Cambodia as the head of its protection team. De Rivero was deputy director of the Human Rights Defenders Office at the International Service for Human Rights from 2003 to 2005. There she successfully advocated for the creation of a protection mechanism for human rights defenders at the African Commission on Human and People's Rights. She also developed the nongovernmental organization's work on the protection of women human rights defenders. Prior to that, de Rivero was an assistant to the UN special rapporteur on the human rights of migrants and the UN special rapporteur on freedom of expression. De Rivero also worked for the UN Verification Mission in Guatemala from 1996 through 2000. As a political affairs officer, she headed one of mission's subregional offices in the Guatemalan highlands. She also worked on issues of resettlement, demobilization, and reintegration.
De Rivero has done extensive freelance work to protect migrant communities in Switzerland and the United Kingdom. A dual Peruvian and British national, she has a master's degree from the Geneva Graduate Institute for International Relations and a post-graduate certificate on forced migration from Oxford University.