American-Tunisian Writer and Co-Chair World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Human Rights and the Fourth Industrial Revolution
Wafa Ben-Hassine is a New York qualified attorney specializing in international law and technology. She is currently consulting with the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression (OHCHR) and the International Finance Corporation. Most recently she was the Middle East and North Africa Policy Manager for Access Now, a global non-profit organization defending and human rights online.
Ben-Hassine has experience in international human rights law, technology and innovation policy, and transparency in government. She holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law, and a B.A. in Political Science, Public Law from the University of California, San Diego. Ben-Hassine is the Co-Chair of the Global Future Council on Human Rights and the Fourth Industrial Revolution (World Economic Forum), and a Global Shaper with the WEF’s leadership program.
In 2015, Ben-Hassine was a former Open Technology Fund (OTF) fellow hosted at the Electronic Frontier Foundation in San Francisco, where she researched counterterrorism and cybercrime laws in select Arab countries. She was also selected as a Geneva Internet Conference Fellow, a Hivos Fellow, and a United Nations Internet Governance Forum Fellow.
Prior to her OTF fellowship, Ben-Hassine completed a legal internship at the Appeals Chamber of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon in The Hague and the U.S. Department of State Bureau for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor in drafting its annual human rights reports.
Ben-Hassine served as a member of the Freedom Online Coalition (FOC) Advisory Network, and a board member of the Arab World Internet Institute. She has also advised several organizations such as UNESCO, Association for Progressive Communications, and International Media Support on matters related to open data, transparency, and gender and technology. She works regularly with various UN bodies and Special Procedures in assisting them with reports and consultations on international human rights law and technology.
In 2011, Ben-Hassine served as Tunisia’s first-ever legislative aide in assisting a Constituent Assembly member in drafting specific provisions in the Preamble of Tunisia’s Constitution. She is a founding member of the OpenGovTN group in Tunisia and was one of the lead assemblers for Tunisia’s eventual state membership in the Open Government Partnership.