Dr Emilie McDonnell is a human rights and refugee advocate, with experience and expertise in human rights, refugee and international law more broadly.
Prior to joining Human Rights Watch, Emilie completed her Doctorate in Law at the University of Oxford on protecting the right to leave of asylum seekers, refugees and other migrants during externalized migration control. She has experience working with a wide range of experts, actors and people at risk, including the Department of Legal Affairs at UNRWA in East Jerusalem, a UK legal aid law firm in the immigration detention and deportation team, the Oxford Human Rights Hub, and as a legislative research officer in Australia. Her work and commentary has been published in articles, blogs and newspapers, and she also appears on radio and television, including the BBC and Al Jazeera.
Emilie began her career focused on advancing the rights of asylum seekers and refugees. This led her to co-found the Tasmanian Refugee Legal Service in 2013, which she was a Director of until 2016, and to her being awarded the 2016 Tasmanian Rhodes Scholarship. She holds an MPhil in Law and Bachelor of Civil Law with Distinction from the University of Oxford, after completing her undergraduate studies in law and criminology at the University of Tasmania.
Emilie is a qualified Australian lawyer, an Adjunct Researcher at the University of Tasmania School of Law, and has taught on various subjects at the University of Oxford and the University of Tasmania.