Layli Miller-Muro

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Layli Miller-Muro
Layli Miller-Muro.jpg
Born (1972-03-24) March 24, 1972 (age 46)
Alma materAmerican University
OccupationFounder and CEO, Tahirih Justice Center

Layli Miller-Muro is an American attorney and activist. She is the founder and Executive Director of Tahirih Justice Center, a national non-profit dedicated to protecting women from human rights abuses such as rape, female genital mutilation/cutting, domestic violence, human trafficking, and forced marriage. Tahirih’s holistic model for protection combines free legal services and social services case management with public policy advocacy, education, and outreach.[1]

Human rights advocacy[edit]

Miller-Muro founded the organization in 1997 following her involvement in Matter of Kasinga, a high-profile case that set national precedent and changed 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 U.S. Board of Immigration Appeals.[2] This decision opened the door to recognizing 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.[3]

Since 2001, Miller-Muro has led Tahirih in its service to over 22,000 women and children,[4] growing the non-profit from a staff of 6 to over 70, and expanding its offices from Greater DC to Houston, Baltimore and San Francisco.[5] In recognition of its sound management and innovative programs, under Miller-Muro’s leadership, Tahirih won The Washington Post Award for Management Excellence[6] and gained recognition for its innovative use of pro bono services in the Stanford Social Innovation Review.[7]

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. Prior to joining Arnold & Porter, Miller-Muro was an attorney-advisor at the U.S. Department of Justice, Board of Immigration Appeals.[8]


Miller-Muro received her JD and MA in International Relations from American University and B.A. from Agnes Scott College.[9]


Among her many awards and recognitions, Miller-Muro was named DC Young Mother of the Year in 2015 by American Mothers Inc.[10] She was also named one of 50 powerful women religious leaders to celebrate on International Women’s Day in 2014 by The Huffington Post,[11] and, in 2013, she received an honorary doctorate from Northern Illinois University.[12] In 2012, she was recognized for her work at Tahirih and named one of Newsweek/The Daily Beast 's 150 Most Fearless Women in the World.[13] In the same year, she received Diane Von Fürstenberg's People's Voice Award[14] and made the list of Goldman Sachs' Top 100 Most Innovative Entrepreneurs.[15] Additionally, in 2010, she was awarded the Smart CEO Brava! Women Business Achievement Award which recognizes 25 female executives who are exemplary leaders within their companies and communities at large.[16]

Personal life[edit]

Miller-Muro lives in greater Washington, DC with her husband, Gil Miller-Muro, and their three children. She is an active member of the Bahá’í Faith.[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Tahirih Justice Center". Retrieved 2016-02-18.
  2. ^ "The Spiritual Defender «  Foundation for a Just Society". Archived from the original on 2016-03-01. Retrieved 2016-02-18.
  3. ^ "Staff «  Tahirih Justice Center". Retrieved 2016-02-18.
  4. ^ "2016 Impact Report". Retrieved 2016-02-18.
  5. ^ "Locations «  Tahirih Justice Center". Retrieved 2016-02-18.
  6. ^ "The Washington Post Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management | Center for Nonprofit Advancement". Retrieved 2016-02-18.
  7. ^ "The Power of Many (SSIR)". Retrieved 2016-02-18.
  8. ^ "Staff «  Tahirih Justice Center". Retrieved 2016-02-18.
  9. ^ "Agnes Scott College - Layli Miller-Muro". Retrieved 2016-02-18.
  10. ^ "2015 State Young Mothers of the Year". American Mothers, Inc. Archived from the original on 2016-03-02. Retrieved 2016-02-18.
  11. ^ "50 Powerful Women Religious Leaders To Celebrate International Women's Day". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2016-02-18.
  12. ^ "Noted advocate for immigrant women to receive honorary NIU doctorate at May 10 graduation". NIU Today. Retrieved 2016-02-18.
  13. ^ "Newsweek and The Daily Beast Honor". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 2016-02-18.
  14. ^ "Oprah and Jaycee Dugard honored at the DVF Awards". Yahoo News. Retrieved 2016-02-18.
  15. ^ "Layli Miller-Muro Wins 2012 Goldman Sachs Award «  Tahirih Justice Center". Retrieved 2016-02-18.
  16. ^ "SmartCEO magazine - Required reading for growing companies". SmartCEO magazine - Required reading for growing companies. Retrieved 2016-02-18.
  17. ^ "Class Teaches Virtues to Children of Many Faiths". Retrieved 2016-02-18.

External links[edit]