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Elisabeth Ward-Herman has served as executive director of the International Human Rights Law Institute (IHRLI) at DePaul University College of Law since 2012. As executive director, Ward-Herman is responsible for the conceptualization, design and management of IHRLI’s international projects, experiential learning opportunities and scholarly research. As executive director, Ward-Herman has managed numerous international human rights projects around the world aimed at assisting vulnerable persons in accessing the international human rights law regime while simultaneously providing College of Law students with experiential learning opportunities. Prior to serving as executive director, she held the position of director of international projects at IHRLI, managing IHRLI’s U.S. Department of State grants in Iraq. These grants included the Legal Education Reform Project, the Women’s Leadership Project, the NGO Training Project, the Supporting Democracy in Iraq Project and the Building Gender Capacity Project. Prior to joining the IHRLI staff, Ward-Herman was selected as the IHRLI Senior Research Fellow in 2009, leading a research project focused on required legislative changes aimed at combating trafficking in Vietnam.
Prior to her tenure at IHRLI, Ward-Herman worked for several human rights-oriented NGOs, focused on a variety of international human rights law issues. She primarily focused on issues of accountability in post-conflict settings, issues surrounding anti-trafficking efforts and issues surrounding the protection of the rights of women and children. Ward-Herman has been published in several international law publications on a variety of international human rights law topics, including inter-country adoption, trafficking, and the United Nations human rights treaty body system. She has appeared before UN agencies, has authored numerous shadow reports, has worked with many domestic governmental agencies in foreign countries and has led human rights trainings for legal professionals in a number of countries. In addition to her practical experience, Ward-Herman has developed and taught a variety of international human rights law courses currently offered at DePaul, including Women’s Human Rights, Children’s Human Rights, the International Human Rights Law Practicum and the International Human Rights Law Colloquium. She received her JD from Michigan State University College of Law and her BA with honors from James Madison College at Michigan State University. She is a licensed attorney in the state of Illinois.