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Amanda Klasing

Director, US Democracy Initiative
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Amanda Klasing is the Director of the United States Democracy Initiative, a new program to address key challenges to US democracy using a human-rights based approach. Amanda has more than 15 years of experience developing evidence-based innovations and partnerships that drive rights advancements. She co-led the Women's Rights Division from 2018-2021, focusing on economic and social rights, sexual and domestic violence, reproductive rights and the impact of structural racism on women's health outcomes, and the rights of Indigenous Peoples. She served as the first-ever monitoring, evaluation, and learning lead at Human Rights Watch, helping to develop values-based processes and outcome metrics for human rights impacts across the organization. She is also a specialist in the rights to water and sanitation. She is a co-founder of the Human Rights Methodology Lab, a collaboration that fosters innovation to improve human rights research methodologies across disciplines.

Amanda’s human rights research and advocacy includes work on: racial disparities in cervical cancer deaths in the United States; the First Nations water crisis in Canada; the rights of women and girls affected by Zika in Brazil and by the earthquake in Haiti; sexual violence and other forms of violence against women displaced by conflict in Colombia; accountability for victims of former dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier of Haiti; the relationship between women’s and girls’ human rights and access to good menstrual hygiene management; and the rights to water and sanitation in schools. Amanda has worked to advance participatory research and partnership models throughout her human rights work. She has advocated with legislators and parliamentarians, public health officials, United Nations agencies and treaty bodies, and civil servants in governments around the world.

Amanda has published in peer-reviewed journals on interdisciplinary research to advance socioeconomic rights, the right to water, and on human rights and humanitarian response. She is a contributing author of an academic book on health and human rights. She holds a master’s degree in social sciences from the University of Chicago, and a law degree from New York University, where she received the Vanderbilt Medal for outstanding contributions to the Law School.

Reports Authored