Director of Social, Economic and Cultural Rights Unit
Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel
Sawsan Zaher is a Palestinian citizen of Israel, a feminist, and human rights lawyer. Sawsan is a senior lawyer with Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, serving as the Director of the Social, Economic, and Cultural Rights Unit since 2005. Through her work with Adalah, Sawsan litigated several landmark cases before the Israeli Supreme Court challenging discrimination and racism against the Palestinian minority in Israel. She received several fellowships and honors, including being selected as a 2015 Young Global Leader, an integral part of the World Economic Forum, a 2012 Fellow at the Women in Public Service Project at Wellesley College, and a 2008 Fellow of the Public Law Program in the Public Interest Law Institute at Columbia University. She received an L.L.M. in International Legal Studies with a concentration on human rights and gender from the American University, Washington College of Law in 20014. In January 2015, Sawsan was appointed to serve as the Acting General Director of Women’s Center for Legal Aid and Counseling (WCLAC) in Ramallah, Palestine. Prior to her appointment as an Acting General Director at WCLAC, Sawsan served on the center’s board of directors. In 2004-2005, she established the first legal department for Arab women’s rights in Kayan – Feminist Organization. Sawsan has been Academic Assistant to Attorney Hassan Jabareen in the Legal Status of the Arab Minority in Israel in the Faculty of Law in Tel Aviv since 2007 and in the Law Faculty in Haifa University since 2009. In July 2012 she was named by Israeli The-Marker Magazine as one of the 40 promising people under the age of 40 in her field of expertise.