Lana Baydas is currently an independent human rights expert. Until recently, she was a senior fellow with the Human Rights Initiative (HRI) at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Prior to joining CSIS, she worked as both an academic and a practitioner in the fields of human rights, gender equality, and international development for the last 16 years, holding posts at headquarters and in field operations with the United Nations, Crisis Action, and the International Committee of the Red Cross. Dr. Baydas has worked intensively in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region in programs promoting gender equality and protecting human rights through the rule of law, good governance, and gender mainstreaming in public institutions at the national and regional levels. She developed capacity building curricula on human rights for the security sector and conducted training sessions for armed forces and police. Dr. Baydas taught graduate courses related to international human rights law and international humanitarian law at the American University in Cairo (AUC). She also authored/coauthored multiple publications on human rights, and has undertaken a number of field assignments addressing human rights and gender-based violence, working in Darfur, Sudan, Syria, Egypt, and Lebanon. She holds a Ph.D. and LL.M. in public international law from the University of Glasgow in Scotland and a B.A. in political science from the American University of Beirut in Lebanon.