Rachael Reilly joined the Women’s Refugee Commission in October 2011 as our Geneva Representative and Senior Advocacy Officer. Rachael had previously worked as a consultant for WRC on various projects, including as the researcher and author of our 2008 groundbreaking report on refugees with disabilities. Rachael is responsible for all our advocacy and liaison work with UN agencies, government missions and NGOs in Geneva.
Rachael has been working in the field of refugees and human rights for the past 20 years, and has worked with refugees and IDPs in Sudan, Uganda, Nepal, Sri Lanka and in the UK. Rachael joined the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) as an intern in 1992 and went on to work first as UNHCR social services officer and then as education field director for Caritas Nepal in the Bhutanese refugee camps in S.E. Nepal from 1992 – 1994. She was the co-author and co-editor of the 1997 edition of UNHCR’s flagship report The State of the World’s Refugees. Rachael served as the first ever refugee policy director for Human Rights Watch from 1998 – 2002, leading all HRW’s research and advocacy on refugee issues. Rachael worked for both UNICEF and UNHCR in Sri Lanka between 2004 and 2007, where she was involved in working with children affected by armed conflict; the post-tsunami emergency response; addressing statelessness amongst the Hill Tamils; and protection for IDPs uprooted by the ongoing civil conflict. Rachael has been working as a consultant with various UN and NGO organizations in Geneva since 2007.
Rachael holds a BA Honours in Social Anthropology from the University of Cambridge (UK) and a Masters degree in Social Policy and Planning in Developing Countries from the London School of Economics (UK).