Combating discrimination and promoting equality as a fundamental human right and a basic principle of social justice
Dr Gay McDougall is Distinguished Scholar in Residence at Washington College of Law, American University. Since 2005 Dr McDougall has served as Independent Expert on Minority Issues at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva. Prior to that she was Executive Director of Global Rights during which time she was awarded a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship for her innovative and highly effective work on behalf of international human rights. Ms McDougall also holds numerous awards from national civil rights organisations.
From 1997 to 2001 she served as an independent expert on various United Nations human rights bodies, including the UN treaty body that oversees the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. Ms McDougall also served as one of five international members of South Africa's 16-member Independent Electoral Commission which successfully organised and administered the country's first non-racial elections in 1994.
From 1980 to 1994 she was Director of the Southern Africa Project of the Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights under Law in Washington and in 1984 a Consultant on the United Nations Council for Namibia. She earned her JD at Yale University Law School and LLM in public international law at the London School of Economics and Political Science.