Amanda Leavell is a researcher and advocate in the Children’s Rights Division, where she specializes in youth justice. Her work focuses on developing effective strategies for reforming the ways in which US states interact with youth accused of crimes.
Before joining Human Rights Watch, Amanda led research efforts on extreme sentencing in California, specifically the reintegration of individuals formerly sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. She has also worked as a Human Rights Fellow at Columbia University where she developed a human rights blueprint for the Obama Presidency Oral History Project. She holds a B.A. in Public and International Affairs from Princeton University and an M.A. in International Policy from Stanford University where she was a Knight-Hennessy Scholar.