Headshot of Macarena Saez

Macarena Sáez

Executive Director, Women's Rights Division
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Macarena Sáez is the executive director of the Women's Rights Division of Human Rights Watch. An internationally recognized expert in gender, sexuality, family law, and human rights, Macarena comes to Human Rights Watch from the American University Washington College of Law in Washington, D.C. where since 2010 she has been a full time faculty member in the International Legal Studies Program teaching Family Law, Strategic Litigation in International Human Rights, Human Rights and Vulnerable Populations.

For the past six years Macarena was the director of the American University’s Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law.  Under her leadership the center conducted research projects in the Middle East, Latin America, and South East Asia, empowered activists in human rights, gender and sexuality, and litigated international human rights cases.

Macarena appears regularly as a speaker and guest lecturer in academic and other professional fora around the world. She is a founding member of the Network of Latin American Scholars on Gender, Sexuality and Legal Education ALAS, an organization that provides training to law professors in Latin America on mainstreaming gender and sexuality perspectives in legal education. She is also member of Libertades Públicas, an organization that promotes civil liberties in Latin America. With this organization she was one of the lead counsels for the victims in the first case on sexual orientation before the Inter American System of Human Rights (Karen Atala and daughters v. Chile).

Macarena is a graduate of the University of Chile Law School and Yale Law School.