Salma Waheedi is a Lecturer on Law and Executive Director of the Program on Law and Society in the Muslim World (PLSMW) at Harvard Law School. She is also the Religion and Public Life Fellow in Conflict and Peace at the Harvard Divinity School and an affiliated faculty of the Middle East Initiative at the Harvard Kennedy School.
Waheedi’s research and legal practice focus on gender, social and economic justice, comparative constitutional law, Islamic law, and human rights, with extensive expertise in the Middle East and North Africa. She represented and advised individual and organizational clients seeking legal accountability and remedies for human rights violations in both domestic and international forums and has long been an advocate on behalf of multiple regional initiatives and coalitions for the advancement of legal equality for women and minorities. At Harvard Law School, Waheedi leads collaborative policy research and advocacy projects to train and empower students to become effective international lawyers and advocates.
Prior to joining Harvard Law School, Waheedi practiced in the areas of corporate accountability litigation, regulatory compliance, and immigration and refugee law, including at Chicago’s United African Organization, Baker McKenzie LLP, and the Transnational Development Clinic at Yale Law School. She held visiting fellowships at Harvard Law School’s Islamic Legal Studies Program and Harvard University’s Committee on Middle Eastern Studies. Between 2004-2012, she held senior positions at Bahrain’s Economic Development Board and Ministry of Finance, engaged in Middle East policy research and analysis at the Carnegie Endowment of International Peace and the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, and served as a strategy consultant in the energy sector.
Waheedi holds a JD from Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, an MA in Government and International Law from Georgetown University, an MA in International Affairs with a concentration in Middle Eastern Studies from the American University, and a BA in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania.
- New York State Bar, New York, United States
- Salma Waheedi, Litigating Women’s Rights in Arab Gulf Monarchial Systems: the Kuwait and Bahrain Constitutional Courts as Case Studies, 34 Arab L.Q. (Special Edition on Authoritarianism and the Law, Nathan Broan & Mai T. El-Sadany eds., forthcoming 2022).
- Salma Waheedi & Kristen Stilt, Judicial Review in the Context of Constitutional Islam, in Comparative Judicial Review 117 (Erin F. Delaney & Rosalind Dixon 2018).
- Kristen Stilt, Salma Waheedi & Swathi Ghandhavadi Griffin, The Ambitions of Muslim Family Law Reform, 41 Harv. J.L. & Gender 301 (2018).