Dr. Azizah al-Hibri, PhD, JD
Dr. Azizah Y. al-Hibri, Esq. is the Founder of KARAMAH: Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights and professor emerita at the T.C. Williams School of Law at the University of Richmond. Dr. al-Hibri began her career as a professor of philosophy and is the co-editor of Technology and Human Affairs, and founding editor of Hypatia: a Journal of Feminist Philosophy. She obtained her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1985 and worked as a corporate law associate on Wall Street before focusing her efforts on human rights and Islamic jurisprudence.
In 1992, Dr. al-Hibri became the first Muslim woman law professor in the United States. Since then, she has written extensively on women’s issues, democracy, and human rights from an Islamic perspective. Her scholarly works have appeared in a variety of publications, including the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law, the Harvard International Review, and Fordham International Law Journal. She has also contributed chapters and articles to a number of collections on legal issues, women’s rights, and Islam.
Dr. al-Hibri founded KARAMAH: Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights in 1993 to support the rights of Muslim women worldwide through educational programs, jurisprudential scholarship, and a network of Muslim jurists and leaders. KARAMAH's original research and innovative programming provides Muslim women with the essential tools and knowledge to promote reform in their own communities.
In 2007, Dr. al-Hibri received the Virginia First Freedom Award from the Council for America’s First Freedom. She was also the recipient of the Dr. Betty Shabazz Recognition Award from Women in Islam in 2006 and the Distinguished Educator Award from the University of Richmond in 2004. Dr. al-Hibri was also a Fulbright scholar and a Fellow at the National Humanities Center in 2000-2001.
At the request of various institutions, such as the State Department, the United Nations, and local universities and Islamic centers, Dr. al-Hibri has shared her perspective at speaking engagements throughout Europe, the Middle East, South Asia, North Africa, and the United States. In 2011, she was appointed to the US Commission on International Religious Freedom for a two year term by President Barack Obama.
Dr. al-Hibri’s most recent publication is “Islamic Worldview: Islamic Jurisprudence, An American Muslim Perspective, Vol. 1 (ABA Book Publishing 2014) and is currently completing the second volume of this groundbreaking series that revisits traditional Islamic Jurisprudence in order to develop a modern enlightened understanding of Islam with respect to gender, marriage, family, and democratic governance.
Dr. al-Hibri earned a B.A. from the American University of Beirut and a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania before pursuing her J.D. from the same university.