Naz Modirzadeh is Senior Fellow, HLS-Brookings Project on Law and Security, Harvard Law School, where she leads the Counterterrorism and Humanitarian Engagement Project. The project carries out high-level legal research and policy analysis on the intersection between counterterrorism regulations and humanitarian action in situations of armed conflict. Ms. Modirzadeh regularly advises international humanitarian organizations, UN agencies, and governments on issues related to international humanitarian law/LOAC, human rights, and counterterrorism regulations concerning humanitarian assistance.
In her research and policy work, Ms. Modirzadeh focuses on the intersections between Islamic law, international human rights, and humanitarian law. She speaks, presents, and trains regularly in academic and professional circles on these topics. Her publications range from policy and monitoring reports on the use of torture to dilemmas in protection of civilians and the law of armed conflict, and from Islamic law in post-war Afghanistan to in-depth examinations of broader issues. Her publications include:
- “Folk International Law: 9/11 Lawyering and the Transformation of the Law of Armed Conflict to Human Rights Policy and Human Rights Law to War Governance,” Harvard National Security Journal (2014);
- “Universalism? Jus ad bellum in Modern Islamic Legal Discourse,” European Journal of International Law (2013; co-author);
- “Humanitarian engagement under counter-terrorism: a conflict of norms and the emerging policy landscape,” International Review of the Red Cross (2011; co-author);
- “The Dark Sides of Convergence: A Pro-Civilian Critique of the Extraterritorial Application of Human Rights Law in Armed Conflict,” Naval War College Blue Book‘s 86th Volume (2010; recipient of the Lieber Prize of the American Society of International Law); and
- “Taking Islamic Law Seriously: INGOs and the Battle for Muslim Hearts and Minds,” Harvard Human Rights Journal (2006).
Ms. Modirzadeh previously worked for the Harvard Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research and Human Rights Watch, and served as Assistant Professor and Director of the International Human Rights Law graduate program at the American University in Cairo. Ms. Modirzadeh received her B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley and her J.D. from Harvard Law School.