Leading lawyer and human rights advocate Tawanda Mutasah has been appointed Amnesty International’s new Senior Director for Law & Policy.
A Zimbabwean national, Tawanda has 20 years of leadership experience in human rights, governance, rule of law and humanitarian work. He is joining Amnesty International from Open Society Foundations where he was Global Director of Programs.
“Tawanda brings to the movement a unique mix of intellectual and professional authority on international law and human rights at the global level. He also has deep practical activist experience of realising human rights at the grassroots level in Africa,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.
In his role as Senior Director for Law & Policy, Tawanda will be responsible for leading the formulation of Amnesty International’s human rights policies, legal positions and litigation strategies. He will be a key advocate and external spokesperson for the organization.
“I am delighted to be joining Amnesty International and feel motivated by the challenges and opportunities which lie ahead. We are witnessing major shifts in the world’s political and economic landscape which demand renewed resourcefulness from us, as we try to move closer to a world in which human rights are enjoyed by all,” said Tawanda.
Tawanda’s previous roles include Executive Director for Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa; Coordinator of Policy, Advocacy, Communications for Southern Africa for Oxfam GB; Manager of Legal & Policy Research for Impact Development Associates; National Head of Justice and Human Rights for the Zimbabwe Council of Churches; and the principal founder of a broad-based national Coalition for Constitutional Reform in Zimbabwe.
He has also served as a governor for the Coalition for Dialogue on Africa and is a founding trustee of the Southern Africa Litigation Center.
Tawanda received his legal training from Harvard Law School, New York University Law School, and the University of Zimbabwe. He holds a Master of Management degree from the University of the Witwatersrand. He received the International Bar Association’s “International Rule of Law Award” in 2004.
Tawanda will formally join Amnesty International on 1 September.