National Security/Immigrant Rights’ Project Director

Azadeh Shahshahani is the Director of the National Security/Immigrants' Rights Project at the ACLU of Georgia. The project is aimed at bringing Georgia and its localities into compliance with international human rights and constitutional standards in treatment of refugee and immigrant communities, including immigrant detainees. To that end, Azadeh has been involved with impact litigation, legislative advocacy, human rights documentation, coalition-building, public education, training of attorneys, and organizing.

Azadeh serves as the President of the National Lawyers Guild.

Azadeh also serves on the Steering Committee of Georgia Detention Watch. She previously served as Chair of Refugee Women’s Network and as Co-Chair of the American Bar Association Individual Rights and Responsibilities Section Committee on the Rights of Immigrants and is also one of the Founders of Human Rights Atlanta.

Azadeh is a 2004 graduate of the University of Michigan Law School where she served as Article Editor for The Michigan Journal of International Law and was a participant in the Third Colloquium on Challenges in International Refugee Law. While in law school, she also completed a fellowship with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Washington, DC and a research fellowship with a women's rights organization in Iran.

Azadeh also has a Master’s in Modern Middle Eastern and North African Studies from the University of Michigan.

Azadeh previously served as Interim Legal Director for the ACLU of Georgia. Before her move to Atlanta, she worked with the ACLU of North Carolina as Muslim/Middle Eastern Community Outreach Coordinator.

Azadeh has edited several human rights reports, including a comprehensive report on immigration detention in Georgia published in May 2012 titled “Prisoners of Profit: Immigrants and Detention in Georgia,” and is the author of book chapters and legal articles on immigrants’ rights and racial profiling, including a selection in the 3rd Edition of the anthology Cultural Issues in Criminal Defense and a law review article in the Winter 2012 edition of the Hastings Race and Poverty Law Journal. Azadeh is also a contributor to the journal Race/Ethnicity: Multidisciplinary Global Contexts and the volume Wising Up Anthology: Shifting Balance Sheets: Women’s Stories of Naturalized Citizenship & Cultural Attachment. Her opinion pieces have appeared in publications such as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Huffington Post, Aljazeera, Truthout, and JURIST.

In March 2011, Azadeh joined an international delegation to Tunisia at the invitation of the Tunisian national bar association. The delegation produced a report on the Tunisian revolution and U.S. government complicity with crimes of the ousted Ben Ali regime. As a follow up to the trip, Azadeh co-authored an article on the legacy of US intervention and the Tunisian revolution which appeared in the May 2012 edition of the Journal Interface. In April 2012, Azadeh also joined an international delegation to Egypt to investigate the role of the U.S government in lending support to the Mubarak regime and the military. Azadeh is also a founding member of the International Tribunal of Conscience of the Global Alternative Forum of Peoples in Movement.

Azadeh was born in Iran and moved to the United States at age sixteen. She is the recipient of the of the American Immigration Lawyers Association 2012 Advocacy Award and the University of Georgia Law School 2009 Equal Justice Foundation Public Interest Practitioner Award.