Executive Director, Children’s Rights Division

Zama Coursen-Neff is the executive director of the children's rights division of Human Rights Watch.  She leads the organization’s work on children’s rights and chairs the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA). Coursen-Neff also conducts fact-finding investigations and is the author of reports and articles on a range of issues affecting children, including access to education, police violence, refugee protection, the worst forms of child labor, and discrimination against women and girls. She has published on op-ed pages in major international and US publications and speaks regularly to the media. During a sabbatical in 2006/2007, she ran a protection monitoring team for the Norwegian Refugee Council in Sri Lanka. Before joining Human Rights Watch in 1999, Coursen-Neff clerked for a US federal judge, advocated on behalf of immigrants and refugees in the US, and worked with community development and women's organizations in Honduras. She is a graduate of Davidson College and New York University School of Law.