Wafa Ben-Hassine

Principal, Responsible Technology, Omidyar Network

Wafa Ben-Hassine is a New York qualified attorney specializing in international law and technology. She is currently a Principal on the Responsible Technology team with the Omidyar Network. Most recently she was the Middle East and North Africa Policy Manager for Access Now, a global non-profit organization defending human rights online.

Ben-Hassine holds a JD from the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law, and a BA in Political Science, Public Law, and a minor in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of California, San Diego. Ben-Hassine served as the Co-Chair of the WEF Global Future Council (GFC) on Human Rights and the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and previously as a Global Shaper with the WEF’s leadership program. She currently sits on the GFC on Data Policy.

In 2015, Ben-Hassine was a former Open Technology Fund 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.

Ben-Hassine served as a member of the Freedom Online Coalition 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. Most recently, she consulted the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression (OHCHR) and the International Finance Corporation.

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.

Ben-Hassine was born in Knoxville, Tennessee. She has traveled extensively in Europe and the Middle East, including volunteering in the Za'atari refugee camp in Jordan. She is currently based in Washington, D.C.

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