Engy Abdelkader, Esq.
Engy Abdelkader is an accomplished human rights attorney, global media commentator and a Legal Fellow with the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, a nonpartisan think tank based in Washington, D.C. She also teaches graduate courses on international human rights for Rutgers University.
She serves on the US State Department Religion and Foreign Policy Working Group, as well as a religious freedom advisor to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. As chairperson of the ABA Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities (IRR) Committee on National Security and Civil Liberties, her committee’s work earned the 2014 Committee Excellence Award for providing leadership on human rights, civil rights, and the rule of law. Abdelkader now co-chairs the IRR Committee on Religious Freedom. A legal fellow with the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, her scholarship has been published in the Fordham International Law Journal, Asian American Law Journal, and University of Washington Pacific Rim Law and Policy Journal, among others. Abdelkader holds two US law degrees, including credentials from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
During her public interest career, Ms. Abdelkader has successfully litigated scores of immigration and foreclosure defense cases, engaged in community organizing and advocacy on national security and civil rights issues and undertaken research, writing, and lecturing about racial and ethnic justice, American Muslims, Muslim women and Islamic legal matters. Ms. Abdelkader is also an international media commentator on global and domestic issues confronting Muslims around the world, and was most recently interviewed for an international CNN broadcast regarding the so-called practice of “honor killings” in Islamic jurisprudence. Additionally, Ms. Abdelkader’s cutting edge analysis is frequently featured in The Huffington Post – ranked the most powerful blog in the world – where she explores the intersection of law, religion, race, gender and politics. In addition to popular media outlets, academic publications have similarly showcased her commentaries. Her writings have been incorporated into academic curriculum and also employed in continuing judicial legal education. Since 2007 Ms. Abdelkader has been continuously featured in Marquis Who’s Who in American Law, and in 2009 she was honored with an award from the International Institute of New Jersey for her legal immigration work on behalf of survivors of torture fleeing persecution from all parts of the world. Notably, Ms. Abdelkader is a co-founder and the first president of the New Jersey Muslim Lawyers Association (NJMLA), a specialty bar organization addressing the needs of Muslim attorneys in the New Jersey area. As NJMLA’s first president, she met with then New Jersey Governor Jon S. Corzine’s staff regarding the need for increased diversity in the state judiciary and helped secure the appointment of the first Muslim American judge to New Jersey’s Superior Court. A licensed attorney in New York and New Jersey, Ms. Abdelkader is also an engaged and leading member of the legal profession. She presently serves on the New Jersey Supreme Court Board on Continuing Legal Education, New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on Minority Concerns, New Jersey State Bar Foundation Respect Editorial Advisory Board, New Jersey State Bar Association Diversity and Membership Committees and American Bar Association Committee on National Security and Civil Rights, Section on Individual Rights and Liberties. Ms. Abdelkader steadfastly believes in protecting American’s civil liberties while concurrently securing our homeland. In response to the backlash against American Muslims, Arab-Americans and South Asians in the wake of the September 11th terrorist attacks, Ms. Abdelkader worked as a cooperating attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights, where she provided research on the case of Maher Arar -– the first publicized case of “extraordinary rendition,” which is the U.S. government practice of sending individuals to countries with deplorable human rights records to be tortured in connection with suspected terrorist activity. During this time she also volunteered with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Community Relations Service as an instructor on Islam, American Muslims and Arab Americans to prevent avoidable conflict and cultural misunderstandings between law enforcement officials and those affected communities. Consequently, Ms. Abdelkader enjoys an extensive public speaking record at academic and other venues, including Princeton University, Columbia Law School, Fordham University Law School, New York University School of Law, University of Connecticut School of Law, George Washington University and Howard University School of Law, to name a few.