Tirana Hassan

Deputy Executive Director and Chief Programs Officer
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Tirana Hassan is Deputy Executive Director and Chief Programs Officer at Human Rights Watch.

Tirana leads the organization’s research, advocacy, media, legal and policy work, overseeing over 300 professionals in more than 50 countries. She is a qualified social worker and lawyer who has spent the past two decades working with individuals and communities pursuing their rights and fighting for justice.

She was a founding member of a refugee legal service during Australia’s refugee crisis in 2000 before working across the globe in international humanitarian operations specializing in child protection and civilian protection in complex emergencies. Tirana has worked for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and Save the Children, amongst others, across East and West Africa and South and South-East Asia.

Tirana specializes in human rights investigations during conflicts and crises. Between 2010-2015, she worked as a senior researcher in Human Rights Watch’s Emergencies Division, where she carried out dozens of investigations in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. She later served as director of Amnesty International’s Crisis Response Program, where she led teams of investigators and an inter-disciplinary team that advanced innovative research methodologies for human rights investigations and evidence collection. She also served on the organization’s interim executive team during its leadership transition in 2019. She has authored reports and op-eds for major publications worldwide.

Tirana graduated with honors degrees in both social work and law in Australia and holds a master’s in international human rights law from Oxford University. 

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