Lama Fakih is Human Rights Watch’s Middle East and North Africa director and the director of the Beirut office. Prior to her current role, Fakih was the Director of the Crisis and Conflict Division from October 2019 through February 2022 and the Deputy Director of the Middle East and North Africa Division from September 2016 through September 2019. She was a Senior Crisis Advisor in Amnesty International’s Crisis Response Program and was Human Rights Watch’s Syria and Lebanon researcher from 2011 to 2015.
Previously, she worked as the Gender, Human Rights, and Counter-Terrorism Fellow at the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice (CHRGJ) at the New York University School of Law. In 2008 to 2009 she was the Center Fellow at CHRGJ, where she worked on a range of human rights issues including corporate accountability and human rights and counter-terrorism. Additionally, Fakih was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to conduct research on the implementation of Islamic law in the Egyptian National Courts.
Fakih holds a bachelor’s degree from Sarah Lawrence College and a law degree from New York University, where she was awarded the Ann Petluck Poses Memorial Prize for her work in the university’s International Human Rights Clinic. She speaks English and Arabic.