Senior Legal Advisor , MADRE
Lisa Davis, Esq. is MADRE’s Senior Legal Advisor, Chair of the Legal Strategies Advisory Committee. Lisa has written and reported extensively on human rights and gender issues, including on women’s rights and LGBTIQ rights, with a focus on peace building and security issues in conflict and disaster settings. Lisa has testified before U.S. Congress, U.K. Parliament, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and various international human rights bodies. In 2016, Davis was elected by their peers to deliver the civil society statement for the U.N. Security Council’s open debate on the use of sexual violence in conflict situations.
In the case Karen Atala and Daughters v Chile, Lisa co-authored the only amicus curiae brief submitted by MADRE and others arguing that sexual orientation and gender identity are protected classes under international law. Among others, the brief was also co-authored by attorneys at the law firm Morrison & Foerster, who focused on the custody issue at hand, arguing that sexual orientation and gender identity should not be factors in custody determinations.
In 2012, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights issued a groundbreaking decision, providing for an explicit prohibition of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. In 2010, Lisa served as lead counsel on behalf of MADRE for the Inter-American Commission petition on behalf of displaced Haitian women and girls, which resulted in the Commission’s first-ever precautionary measures decision recognizing state responsibility to prevent third-party gender-based violence. Davis was subsequently awarded the 2011 People’s Choice Gavel Award by their peers for the decision. Lisa teaches at CUNY Law School in the Human Rights and Gender Justice (HRGJ) Clinic, formerly the International Women’s Human Rights (IWHR) Clinic founded by Professor Rhonda Copelon.