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Eleanor Acer

Senior Director, Refugee Protection

As the director of Human Rights First’s Refugee Protection program, Eleanor Acer oversees Human Rights First’s research and advocacy on issues relating to refugee protection, asylum, and migrants’ rights. Eleanor advocates, speaks and writes regularly on issues relating to the human rights of refugees and migrants, including legal representation, detention, U.S. asylum law and policy, U.S. global refugee protection and resettlement policies, and protection from xenophobic and bias-motivated violence. She works closely with Human Rights First’s pro bono legal representation team, conducts field research, has authored numerous reports and articles, and has testified before the U.S. Congress.

Eleanor was awarded the Louis J. Lefkowitz Award for Public Service by Fordham University School of Law in 2007. She was selected by the American Bar Association to serve on its Commission on Immigration, and serves on the Advisory Board of the International Detention Coalition. She was also vice chair of the Refugee Council USA from 2006 to 2008. She has taught classes on refugee protection and migrants rights as an adjunct professor at the New School’s Graduate Program in International Affairs.

Before coming to Human Rights First, Eleanor was an associate handling federal litigation at Kirkpatrick & Lockhart LLP. She has coordinated mentoring programs and has served on the International Human Rights Committee and Immigration Committee of the Association of the Bar of New York, as well as the Board of Advisors to the Crowley Program in International Human Rights at Fordham University School of Law. Eleanor received her J.D. from Fordham University School of Law and her B.A. in History from Brown University.

May 03, 2016
New York City—The State Department today released its official resettlement numbers for April, indicating that it resettled 451 Syrian refugees last month. This brings the seven-month...
April 26, 2016
While New Jersey Governor Chris Christie recently took steps to pull New Jersey out of the U.S. resettlement program, many other Americans are welcoming refugees. Utah is a prime example. A tech...
April 22, 2016
President Obama heads to Hanover, Germany this weekend and on Monday he will meet with the leaders of Germany, France, Italy, and the United Kingdom. Among the many likely issues on the agenda: the...
April 22, 2016
New York City – In light of his upcoming meetings in Germany, Human Rights First today called on President Obama to promote the protection of refugees and to offer support to the German...