Ms. Minwalla is a human rights lawyer who spent more than six years living and working in Iraq for Mercy Corps, Heartland Alliance for Human Needs and Human Rights, and the International Rescue Committee (IRC). She is an expert on gender based violence and access to justice issues both in the US and in Iraq. Ms. Minwalla was IRC’s Women’s Protection and Empowerment Coordinator, responsible for programs assisting Syrian refugees and displaced Iraqis includong women and girls and survivors of gender-based violence in Baghdad and Kurdistan. She also established Heartland Alliance’s legal and social protection programs designed to assist women and girl survivors of gender-based violence, human trafficking and juveniles in the criminal justice system. As Iraq Country Director for Heartland Alliance, she oversaw the Baghdad Street Children’s Center and managed programs for survivors of torture.
She is a graduate of the Chicago-Kent College of Law, has a Masters in Applied Sociology from Loyola University Chicago, and a BA in International Relations from the University of Cincinnati. Her publications include: Advancing Access to Justice for Sex Trafficking Victims in Iraq, American Bar Association, INTERNATIONAL LAW NEWS, Vol. 24 No. 4 (Fall 2013). She created and maintains Iraq Gender Justice.