Director, International Human Rights Program

Samer brings a wealth of experience and international perspective to his role as leader of the IHRP. For over five years, Samer has been a researcher with the world’s leading human rights NGO, Human Rights Watch (HRW). Most recently, Samer was the emergencies senior researcher in the women's rights division of HRW, where he monitored and documented women’s rights abuses during human rights crises. A lawyer, documentary photographer, and former journalist, Samer has conducted numerous fact-finding missions in Canada, Nigeria, South Sudan, Syria, Libya, Iraq, and UAE. Before joining HRW in 2009, Samer worked in Baghdad as an adviser supporting the Iraqi government, and as a legal officer in the UN’s Serious Crimes Unit in East Timor. He also photographed and edited testimonials from survivors of sexual violence for a book commemorating the 15th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide. Apart from his work in conflict and post-conflict countries over the last decade, Samer was a corporate lawyer at Bingham McCutchen in Boston and articled in Ontario with Barbara Jackman, specializing in immigration, refugee and national security law.

Samer is an alumnus of the Faculty (JD2002), and also holds an LL.M in international human rights law from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Prior to law school, Samer worked as a journalist with the Globe and Mail.  Since graduating, Samer has remained connected to the Faculty in numerous ways, including lecturing through the LAWS and IHRP programs, and supervising IHRP interns.