Wendy Isaack is a researcher in the LGBT rights program at Human Rights Watch. Prior to joining Human Rights Watch, Wendy worked as Adjunct Professor at the Human Rights and Gender Justice Clinic, City University of New York (CUNY) and as an international consultant for UN Women, Palestine Office where she produced a report titled International Legal Accountability Mechanisms: Palestinian Women Living under occupation. Wendy served as Human Rights Specialist at UN Women, providing policy support in respect of intergovernmental processes in New York and Geneva, responsible for providing technical support to the CEDAW Committee in its elaboration of General Recommendation No. 30 on the protection of women’s human rights in conflict and post-conflict contexts. A lawyer by training, she has worked for public interest litigation organisations in South Africa, the Legal Resources Centre and Centre for Applied Legal Studies, and a women’s rights organization, People Opposing Women Abuse. From 2000 – 2005, Wendy was the coordinator of the legal advice centre at the Lesbian and Gay Equality Project, the leading LGBT legal advocacy organisation in South Africa at the time.
In February 2020, Wendy returned to Human Rights Watch after taking up a temporary position for one year at the UN as Programme Officer in the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict. Wendy was responsible for preparing the 2019 annual report of the UN Secretary-General on Conflict-Related Sexual Violence covering 19 country situations, including a list of parties credibly suspected of committing or being responsible for acts of rape or other forms of sexual violence in situations of armed conflict on the agenda of the Security Council.
Wendy holds a master’s degree in Public Administration (MPA) from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and a master’s degree in International Law with a focus on Transitional Justice and the Rule of Law from the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland.