Lena Simet is the Senior Researcher and Advocate on Poverty and Inequality at Human Rights Watch. Her research focuses on social protection measures that fail to prevent people from falling into poverty, and the precarious labor conditions experienced by on-demand workers in the gig economy. She also investigates how austerity-driven budget cuts and the privatization of basic essential services can undermine human rights.
Before joining Human Rights Watch, Lena was the coordinator and lead researcher of the Global Urban Futures Project, a research group on inequality, jobless economic growth, and climate change at The New School University in New York. She has taught in the graduate program in international affairs at The New School, and the economics department at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She also worked as a consultant for various non-governmental and international agencies, including UNDP, UN-Habitat, and GIZ. Lena holds a Ph.D. in Public and Urban Policy from The New School.