Janet Walsh

Senior Fellow

Janet Walsh is a senior fellow with the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs, working in its  Master of Human Rights program. She is a lawyer and human rights expert with two decades of experience advocating for gender equality and women's rights around the world. 

From 2002 to 2019, Janet worked with Human Rights Watch as the deputy director of the Women's Rights Division. In that role, she spearheaded innovative projects on violence against women; sexual and reproductive rights; women’s land and property rights; family laws; the rights of women workers; and work-family policies. Before joining Human Rights Watch, Janet was an attorney in several New York law firms, where she represented business clients in international transactions and individuals in pro bono political asylum and domestic violence cases. She also worked for the United Nations’ legal division, where she handled commercial law matters for peacekeeping missions and UN agencies.  

Many media outlets have run her opinion pieces, including The New York Times, CNN, The Hill, Open Democracy, Thomson Reuters Foundation, and others. She has made public presentations before the United Nations, human rights bodies, government agencies, academic institutions, and other audiences. 

Janet has a law degree (JD) from the University of California at Berkeley (Boalt Hall), and an LLM in international and comparative law from the University of Cologne, Germany.