Portrait of Janet Walsh
Senior Fellow
153 Humphrey School
Global Policy Area
Areas of Expertise
gender, human rights, domestic and sexual violence


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

At the Humphrey School, Janet teaches courses on gender equality and human rights, combining substantive instruction with skills exercises on fact-finding, media work, and advocacy. She advises students, organizes events, and engages with civil society organizations.

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; 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.

Janet has a law degree (J.D.) from the University of California at Berkeley and an LL.M. from the University of Cologne, Germany.


LLM in International and comparative law (University of Cologne, 1996)

JD (University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, 1995)

BA (Arizona State University, 1992)