Layli Miller-Muro

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Layli Miller-Muro is the Executive Director of the Tahirih Justice Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting women from human rights abuses through the provision of legal aid and public policy advocacy. Miller-Muro founded the organization in 1997 following her involvement in Matter of Kasinga, a high-profile case that set national precedent and revolutionized asylum law in the United States. Fauziya Kassindja—a 17-year-old girl who had fled Togo in fear of a forced polygamous marriage and a tribal practice known as female genital mutilation—was granted asylum in 1996 by the US Board of Immigration Appeals. This decision opened the door to gender-based persecution as grounds for asylum. Using her portion of the proceeds from a book she and Kassindja co-authored about the case (Do They Hear You When You Cry? Delacorte Press, 1998), Miller-Muro established Tahirih. She has received many accolades for her work with Tahirih. In 2012, she was named one of Newsweek/The Daily Beast's 150 Most Fearless Women in the World and received the Diane Von Furstenberg Choice Award. Prior to joining Tahirih as Executive Director in 2001, Miller-Muro was an attorney at the Washington, D.C. law firm of Arnold & Porter where she practiced international litigation and maintained a substantial pro bono practice. Prior to joining Arnold & Porter, Miller-Muro was an attorney-advisor at the U.S. Department of Justice, Board of Immigration Appeals.

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