Building peace and security through human rights and gender equality.

Julie Leftwich, J.D., M.A.

International Human Rights and Gender, Peace and Security Expert

Julie Leftwich is a passionate international human rights and gender expert with extensive experience in women, peace and security, combating sexual and gender-based violence, refugee and asylum law, rule of law and access to justice, democracy and governance, and security sector reform. She serves as an international advocate, advisor, trainer, speaker, researcher, and writer for the civil society, political, security, and justice sectors. 

Julie works with domestic groups globally to build local capacity, strengthen institutions, create legal frameworks, develop initiatives, build awareness, and share global best practices. She also works with national and international agencies to ensure that women and gender perspectives are included in diplomatic, development, and defense efforts in line with international and U.S. policy.    

Julie is Founder and Executive Director of the Immigrant and Refugee Law Center, where she also represents women seeking asylum from gender violence and brings voice to the rights of migrants.

Julie is currently working with the National Democratic Institute (NDI’s) Gender, Women and Democracy Program as Lead Technical Advisor on a global initiative to address accountability and justice for sexual violence in conflict. Previously she was Senior Gender and Inclusion Advisor for Freedom House.  She led the Women, Peace and Security program at Women’s Action for New Directions (WAND), working to empower women politically both in the U.S. and in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Middle East and North Africa as leaders on critical issues of conflict prevention, peace building, violence against women, and national and global security. Prior to that, with funding from the U.S. Institute of Peace, Julie worked with groups in the Great Lakes region of Africa to integrate gender equality and women’s rights into post-conflict legal structures in order to further the women, peace and security framework.

Michelle Bachelet 4.20.12

With Former Chilean President Michele Bachelet

Julie has managed programs related to gender, women’s rights, and the rule of law in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, Eastern Europe and Latin America, and has advised, trained, and published extensively on gender, women’s rights, human rights, international human rights law, women, peace and security, gender-based violence, and human trafficking, with audiences including judges, legal practitioners, law enforcement, military, government, social workers, religious and cultural leaders and civil society.  

Julie has worked with numerous other organizations including Women in International Security (WIIS), One Earth Future Foundation, George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), National Defense University, International Association of Women Judges, American Association of People with Disabilities, Internews and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.

Julie has also held adjunct faculty appointments at the University of Cincinnati College of Law, University of Colorado Boulder and the Korbel School of International Affairs at the University of Denver. Her teaching focuses on human rights, gender, peace and security, and refugee and asylum law.