Leila Hilal

Senior Fellow, International Security Program

Leila Hilal is a senior fellow for the International Security Program and the former director of the Middle East Task Force at New America. She focuses on Syria, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and issues related to U.S. foreign policy, community-based change, constitution-making, and transitional justice in the broader Middle East and North Africa. Prior to joining New America Hilal served as Senior Policy Adviser to the Commissioner-General of the Palestinian refugee agency (UNRWA) and as a legal adviser to Palestinian negotiators from 2002-2008. She has led numerous research missions on human rights and post-conflict scenario building and transitional justice in the Middle East, including for Chatham House, the International Center for Transitional Justice and the Euro-Med Human Rights Network for Human Rights. Hilal clerked for Justice Yvonne Mokgoro at the South African Constitutional Court in 2000. She received her J.D. from the State University of New York at Buffalo Law School and her LL.M. from Harvard Law School.

All Work

BETTER LIFE LAB and INTERNATIONAL SECURITY
A Step Forward for Afghan Women?

In many cases, changing minds often came down to semantics — tweaking the vocabulary around issues of gender equity and women’s empowerment.


INTERNATIONAL SECURITY
Next Steps for Israelis and Palestinians

With the Kerry initiative at a dead-end and regional turmoil dominating headlines, is there any hope for a political process now?


INTERNATIONAL SECURITY
How Will the U.S. Decide Which Syrian Rebels to Arm?

There isn't a formal definition of a Syrian moderate, said Leila Hilal of the New America Foundation. But implicit in the word, she says, ar


INTERNATIONAL SECURITY
Weighing Obama’s strategy to defeat Islamic militants

How feasible is the President’s ISIS strategy? Is it risk for the US to train and arm Syrian rebels? A network of alliances between the US a


INTERNATIONAL SECURITY
Not Who We Are

The number of Syrian refugees has surpassed 3 million, with no end in sight. Not Who We Are is the story of five Syrian women refugees.


INTERNATIONAL SECURITY
US History In Mideast Hampers Hopes

“I think the U.S. will likely use FSA fighters on the ground but I don’t think that they will be enough to do the necessary ground battle,”