Kersty McCourt is Interim Europe and Central Asia Advocacy Director at Human Rights Watch. She is a lawyer and human rights professional with over eighteen years’ experience leading human rights, justice reform and civil society programs. Kersty led a number of coalitions and from 2017-2020 was the co-chair of the Human Rights and Democracy Network in Brussels and for over 11 years was a Senior Advocacy Advisor with the Open Society Justice Initiative. Prior to that Kersty led access to justice programs at the Danish Institute for Human Rights in Kigali and Copenhagen. Kersty qualified as a solicitor with Taylor Wessing Solicitors in London and is a member of the Law Society of England and Wales.
She has a degree in Biological Sciences and a Master’s in Human Rights and Democratization. She has designed and taught a number of master’s courses on human rights defenders at the Global Campus for Human Rights in Venice, Yerevan, and Beirut.