Salma Waheedi headshot

Salma Waheedi Associate Director and Lecturer on Law

1585 Mass. Ave. (WCC), Room 3124

Salma Waheedi is Associate Director of the Program on Law and Society in the Muslim World and a Lecturer on Law and Clinical Instructor at the International Human Rights Clinic (IHRC). She is an affiliate of the Middle East Initiative at the Harvard Kennedy School and the Religion and Public Life Initiative at the Harvard Divinity School.

Salma’s work focuses on gender justice, labor rights, civil and political rights, and business and human rights, with a primary interest in the Middle East and North Africa. Before joining IHRC, she practiced law in the areas of corporate accountability litigation, corporate compliance, and immigration and refugee law, including at Baker McKenzie LLP, Chicago’s United African Organization, and the Transnational Development Clinic at Yale Law School. In 2016-2017, she held a Visiting Fellowship at the Islamic Legal Studies Program at Harvard Law School, where her research focused on Islamic constitutionalism and family law reform in Islamic legal contexts.

Prior to pursuing a law career, Salma held senior positions at the Economic Development Board of her native country Bahrain, where she advised on economic and social policies and led economic reform initiatives focused on regulatory reform, housing policy, social welfare, small business growth, and enhancing government efficiency and cutting red tape. Earlier at the Bahrain Ministry of Finance, she served as senior trade economist and international trade negotiator. She also worked as a management consultant in the energy sector and held positions at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Wilson Center in Washington, DC, focusing on Middle East policy analysis and research.

Salma holds a JD from Northwestern University School of Law, an MA in International Law and Government from Georgetown University, an MA in International Affairs with a concentration in Middle Eastern Studies from American University, and a BA in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania.


Salma Waheedi, Litigating Women’s Rights in Arab Gulf Monarchial Systems: the Kuwait and Bahrain Constitutional Courts as Case Studies, Arab Law Quarterly (Special Edition on Authoritarianism and the Law, Nathan Broan & Mai T. El-Sadany, eds., forthcoming 2021).

Salma Waheedi, Islam in the Legal Order of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait: Two Models of Constitutionalizing Shari’a, in Mapping Constitutional Control in the MENA Region (Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, Rule of Law Program Middle East and North Africa, forthcoming 2021).

Salma Waheedi & Kristen Stilt, Judicial Review in the Context of Constitutional Islam, in Comparative Judicial Review 117 (Erin F. Delaney & Rosalind Dixon eds., 2018).

Kristen Stilt, Salma Waheedi & Swathi Ghandhavadi Griffin, the Ambitions of Muslim Family Law Reform, 41 Harv. J.L. & Gender 301 (2018)

Salma Waheedi, Constitutions of the Arab Gulf States: between the Welfare State and the Democratic State (Arabic), in Gulf 2013: The Constant and the Changing (Omar Al-Shehabi ed., 2013)




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