Founder and Executive Director, Asylum Access
Emily Arnold-Fernandez is founder and executive director of Asylum Access, the leading global refugee human rights organization. After learning that refugees spend on average seventeen years in camps, Arnold-Fernandez founded Asylum Access in 2005 to create a world where refugees can live safely, move freely, work and send children to school, and rebuild their lives.
Today, Asylum Access has impacted more than a million refugees worldwide, working intensively in fifteen offices across seven countries as well as at the global level to dismantle barriers to refugees’ economic and civic participation and ensure all refugees have a fair chance at a new life.
Arnold-Fernandez’s achievements have earned her numerous accolades, including recognition by the Dalai Lama as one of 50 “Unsung Heroes of Compassion” worldwide and the prestigious Grinnell Prize. She was also selected as a social entrepreneur in residence at Stanford University in 2012, and currently serves on the advisory board of Oxford University’s Refugee Studies Centre. She holds a JD from Georgetown University and a bachelor’s degree from Pomona College.