Leanne Smith is an international human rights lawyer, with a Masters degree in Public Policy from the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs (formerly the Woodrow Wilson School). Leanne has worked in the Australian judicial system, for the Australian Human Rights Commission, in the international NGO sector, regional human rights organisations, as an Australian diplomat (DFAT) and in various roles for the United Nations in field operations and at UN Headquarters in New York, most recently as Chief of Policy and Best Practices for UN Peacekeeping Operations. She is currently the Executive Director of the Whitlam Institute within Western Sydney University and an adjunct Professor of Law at WSU. Her professional experience spans Australia, Southeast Asia, Africa, the Balkans and Afghanistan.
Leanne has researched and published on topics including Australian national identity, Australian foreign policy and international human rights, international humanitarian law, rule of law and development as well as on the United Nations, gender and women, peace and security. She is Australian Lawyers for Human Rights Co-Chair for the Rights of Women and Girls, a visiting fellow at the ANU Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy, a member of the Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law Advisory Committee and a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Association of Australia.