Mona Ali Khalil is an Affiliate of the Harvard Law School Program on International Law and Armed Conflict (HLS PILAC).

Mona Ali Khalil

Mona Ali Khalil

Ms. Khalil is an internationally respected public international lawyer with 25 years of UN and other international legal and diplomatic experience. She obtained a Bachelors of Arts in Government and a Masters in Middle East Studies from Harvard University in 1988 and a Masters in Foreign Service and a Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University in 1992.

In addition to serving as a Senior Legal Officer in the UN Office of the Legal Counsel (UNOLC) in New York and the IAEA Office of Legal Affairs in Vienna, Ms. Khalil has undertaken several special assignments, including serving as Legal Adviser to the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on post-Saddam Iraq and to the UN Support Mission in post-Qaddafi Libya. She also served as Legal Adviser to the UN Mission to Investigate Allegations of the Use of Chemical Weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic and to the Joint OPCW-UN Mission for the Elimination of the Syrian Chemical Weapons Programme. 

Between 2010 and 2015, she was head of the UNOLC peacekeeping team and lead lawyer on Security Council sanctions where she advised, inter alia, on the use of force by, and applicability of international humanitarian law (IHL) to, UN peacekeepers, as well as on the human rights challenges and humanitarian impact of counterterrorism sanctions. Her chapter on the “Legal Aspects of the Use of Force by United Nations Peacekeepers for the Protection of Civilians” appears in The Protection of Civilians in International Law published by Oxford University Press in 2016. She published an opinion piece entitled “The UN’s Three Main Bodies Are Failing to Do Their Jobs,” as well as a piece titled “Restoring the Values and Spirit of the International Civil Service.”

Between September 2015 and December 2017, Ms. Khalil served as a Legal Advisor at Independent Diplomat (ID), an international diplomatic advisory group, where she provided advice on public international law to promote greater inclusivity, rule of law, and justice in international diplomacy.

In January 2018, she founded MAK LAW — an international legal advisory and consulting service to assist Governments, IGOs, and NGOs to secure their legal rights and fulfill their legal obligations.



[Biography last updated: July 2019]