Leila Hanafi, MWN’s Moroccan-American Law Personality of the Year
Morocco World News
New York, December 30, 2011
Please allow us to take this opportunity to express our appreciation for Leila’s service as a staunch rule of law advocate, and a young visionary of pursuing justice in Morocco and beyond. Morocco World News is proud to introduce Leila to its readership, as a recognition of her long-standing dedication to advance Morocco’s image in the USA, through the prism of rule of law and legal empowerment of youth and women.
Leila always knew she wanted to pursue a career in international law and development. It ran in the family. Leila grew up in part in Southern Africa as the daughter of an international development practitioner. Since then, she has continued to pursue international interests. Living abroad has given her the skills necessary to adapt to new languages and adapt to new cultures, at the same time demonstrating the interrelatedness of all cultures, politics, and economies all around the globe.
An international lawyer from Washington DC, Leila has recently become the first Moroccan-American to serve as the focal point for the International Criminal Court Middle East and North Africa coalition work. Leila has been selected to serve in leadership positions at a very young age which equipped her to join an exhilarating hub of young leaders.
As the staff attorney and programs manager of the World Justice Project to becoming one of the World Bank’s youngest professionals, Leila’s experience consists of work in international law, rule of law, and human rights. Leila was also the winner of the highly competitive World Bank Middle East and North Africa Innovation Fund through which she led a legal empowerment initiative for young women in Morocco. Her experience revealed the impressive energy of Morocco’s young women, and the untapped force that they present in reaching out to and mobilizing other young people.
Leila serves on the Board of several organizations in the field of international law and development, including the United Nations Association YP, the Moroccan-American Legal Empowerment Network, and the International Center of Mediation and Arbitration.
A strong advocate of legal empowerment, especially for youth and women, Leila Hanafi championed several initiatives advocating for young people’s legal rights and representing the young face of development in a more multidimensional way.
Leila published several academic papers and articles, contributed to a few published works on legal systems ofNorth Africa, and was profiled in several national and international media outlets for her academic and professional accomplishments. Leila is a graduate of American University’s School of International Service and Georgetown University, and currently pursuing post-graduate studies in international law at George Washington University Law School, Washington DC.