Indian American Gayatri Patel Becomes Independent Consultant for Foreign Policy and Intl. Development
- She was formerly vice president of advocacy and external relations at the Women’s Refugee Commission.
Gayatri Patel, formerly vice president of advocacy and external relations at the Women’s Refugee Commission, is now an independent consultant for foreign policy and international development, Politico has reported. The Indian American has nearly 20 years of experience in women’s rights and gender equality, according to her LinkedIn profile.
She previously served as the director of Gender Advocacy at CARE USA, “where she drove initiatives on women’s economic empowerment, gender-based violence, and gender equality in humanitarian emergencies,” according to her bio on The United Nations Association of the National Capital Area (UNA–NCA) website. In this role she lead “advocacy efforts to enact the seminal Women’s Entrepreneurship and Economic Empowerment Act and co-authoring the framework for a feminist foreign policy in the U.S.,” the UNA-NCA added.
Before joining CARE, she spent nearly 10 years advising the U.S. State Department on a variety of human rights and humanitarian issues, including spearheading a multi-stakeholder strategy in the Bureau for Population, Refugees, and Migration to improve protection for migrants caught in countries in crisis. She also co-authored the annual U.S. Trafficking in Persons Report and managed the UN Human Rights Council and UN Universal Periodic Review portfolios to promote respect for human rights globally.
Additionally, she served as director of Legal Programming at the Africa Middle East Refugee Assistance (AMERA) organization, which provides pro bono legal services to refugees and people seeking asylum in Cairo, Egypt. At AMERA, Gayatri led programs aimed at improving access to justice and social services for refugee survivors of sexual and gender-based violence.
She plays a leadership role in several coalitions and organizations focused on gender equity, human rights, and humanitarianism. She is a co-chair of the Coalition to End Violence Against Women and Girls Globally, the Vice Chair of Advocacy on the Board of the UN Association-National Capital Area, and a member of the Advisory Committee of the Council for Global Equality. She was a founding member of the Coalition for Women’s Economic Empowerment and Equality and has also served previously as a co-chair of the Girls Not Brides USA coalition and the Big Ideas for Women and Girls Coalition. She also currently sits on the Steering Committee of the Coalition for a Feminist Foreign Policy for the United States.
In 2021, Patel was honored to be recognized amongst the Apolitical List of the 100 Most Influential People in Gender Policy and to be selected to join the U.S. Delegation to the UN Commission on the Status of Women as a civil society representative.
She holds a law degree from American University’s Washington College of Law with a focus on international human rights and humanitarian law, a master’s degree from American University’s School for International Service, and a bachelor’s degree from Mount Holyoke College in international relations.