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Shana Tabak

Shana Tabak joined the Tahirih Justice Center as the first Executive Director of its Atlanta office which opened in 2018. Presiding over Tahirih’s fifth location, she leads delivery of high-quality legal services and social services case management to protect immigrant woman and girls who demand freedom from violence. She is the former Chair of the Georgia Immigration Working Group, and currently leads its work to increase collaboration between mental health professionals and immigration attorneys.

Prior to joining Tahirih, Shana spent nearly a decade teaching in law schools, specializing in international human rights, immigration law, and gender justice. As a clinical law professor at American University and George Washington University Law School, she supervised student casework in immigration court, federal court, and international human rights tribunals. Most recently, she was a visiting scholar at Emory Law School and a visiting professor at Georgia State College of Law. She also served as a law clerk for H.E. Bernardo Sepúlveda-Amor at the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

Shana has worked with numerous human and immigrant rights groups in Latin America, the Middle East, and in the U.S. including Human Rights First, the Southern Poverty Law Center, UNCHR, Gisha: Legal Center for Freedom of Movement in Israel, and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, as well as with the law firm Foley Hoag.

Shana has published on human rights in post-conflict settings, gender, and migration, and is a frequent speaker on these topics. She has conducted workshops and trainings on gender and human rights, trauma-informed lawyering, and clinical legal education. She was elected co-chair of the American Society of International Law’s Women in International Law Interest Group in 2015, and serves on the Program Committee for the 2018 ASIL Annual Meeting.


Shana received her JD from Georgetown University Law Center, where she was a Public Interest Law Scholar, and received a Certificate in Refugees and Humanitarian Assistance. She graduated with honors from Macalester College, and holds an LLM from George Washington University Law School.


Shana was awarded a Dorot Fellowship for study in Israel, and researched human rights and migration with a Fulbright Scholarship in Bolivia.


Author, Deadlocked: What a Nine-Word Decision Means for 5 Million Undocumented Immigrants, June 23, 2016, (The Conversation)

Commentator – Why It’s Almost Impossible to get Asylum in Atlanta, June 8, 2016 (VICE media)

Commentator – Governor Deal Says No to Syrian Refugees in Georgia, November 16, 2015 (NPR-GPB)

LGBTI Migrants in Immigration Detention: A Global Perspective, 37 HARVARD JOURNAL OF LAW & GENDER 1 (2013) (with Rachel Levitan)

False Dichotomies of Transitional Justice: Gender, Conflict and Combatants in Colombia, 44 NYU JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW AND POLICY 44 (2011)

Family Immigration Detention at Artesia: An international law inquiry https://ilg2.org/2015/01/31/family-immigration-detention-at-artesia-an-international-law-inquiry/

Languages: Spanish & Hebrew (fluent); French & Arabic (conversant)