Mirza

Isa Mirza

Senior Advisor
Washington, DC
Isa Mirza advises governments, corporations, nonprofits and advocacy coalitions on the advancement of human rights.

A member of Foley Hoag’s Global Business and Human Rights Practice since 2011, Isa counsels clients on ways to eliminate human rights-based harms by adhering to internationally recognized laws and principles, protecting the rights of vulnerable communities and indigenous peoples, promoting fundamental worker freedoms and eradicating modern slavery in supply chains. 

Isa works closely with clients to develop policies and practices based on the International Bill of Human Rights, the U.N. Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, the Conventions of the International Labour Organization, the U.S. Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, and the U.S. Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act.

Isa regularly conducts human rights impact assessments and investigations in multiple languages and has carried out fieldwork research in many countries across the globe, including most recently Colombia, Peru, Algeria, Iraq and India.

A specialist in U.S. federal appropriations law and the congressional legislative process, Isa also has a decade of experience guiding clients in successful efforts to strengthen human rights protections and fund humanitarian programs through the appropriation and disbursement of U.S. foreign assistance. As part of this work, he represents clients before Congress and the Department of State.

Isa maintains an extensive and highly active pro bono practice. His pro bono work is especially focused on racial equity, the rights of residents in the District of Columbia who are returning from incarceration, and implementing public policies based on restorative justice and decarceration principles. He regularly testifies before the D.C. Council and works closely with D.C. Council members and senior officials in the D.C. Government on reform efforts aimed at empowering the District’s justice-harmed residents. In addition, Isa represents non-profits in their efforts to increase U.S. support for humanitarian demining projects that utilize mine-detection animals.

Before coming to Foley Hoag, Isa served in the Washington office of U.S. Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro – Chair of the House Appropriations Committee – and was a Yale Fox International Fellow at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi.

Education

  • University of Cambridge
  • Jawaharlal Nehru University
  • Yale University

Languages

  • Spanish
  • Hindi
  • Urdu
  • Arabic

Experience

  • Served as lead author of a Human Rights Impact Assessment of Facebook’s platforms in India, with a focus on hateful, violence-inciting and other discriminatory content targeting religious and ethnic minorities
  • Served as lead author of the first-ever Human Rights Impact Assessment of Wells Fargo, with a focus on diversity, equity, inclusion and racial justice
  • Currently serving as the lead author of a Human Rights Impact Assessment of Microsoft, with a focus on potential harms to black, indigenous, immigrant and other vulnerable communities
  • Advises clients on the human rights implications of E.U. and U.S. sanctions regimes
  • Advises clients on measures to eradicate modern slavery, in particular implementation of the U.S. Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act
  • Conducted human rights due diligence to ensure the prevention of modern slavery at a major oil operation in Iraq
  • Conducted in-country human rights investigations in English and Spanish into incidents between private security providers and indigenous communities in Latin America
  • Served as part of the Secretariat of the Initiative of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights from 2011-2018
  • Facilitated training workshops with security managers in Colombia on implementing the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights
  • Represents the self-determination rights of the Sahrawi people of the Western Sahara before Congress and the Department of State
  • Represents community-based organizations in Washington, D.C. before lawmakers and senior policymakers in the D.C. Government, advocating for the rights of the District’s returning citizens and restorative justice-based transformations of the criminal law system
  • Represents APOPO, a humanitarian demining NGO, before Congress and the State Department to increase U.S. Government support for APOPO’s pioneering use of African giant pouched rats and GPS-guided dogs in the detection of land mines, resulting in grant awards of nearly $2 million from the State Department – the first time the organization has ever received funding from the U.S. Government

Publications

  • "The Long, Winding Path to Medicare Physician Payment Reform," Law360.com (March 7,2014)
  • The Provision of Information Services in a New Political Economy: A Case Study from Hyderabad, India, Journal of Contemporary Asia 43(1): 148-172 (Winter 2013)
  • Looking at Research on Bt Cotton in Southern India, International Affairs Journal at UC Davis 4(2): 9-15 (Winter 2008)

Honors & Involvement

HONORS
  • Yale Fox International Fellow, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, 2008-2009
  • U.S. State Department Critical Language Scholar of Arabic, Morocco, 2008
INVOVLEMENT
  • Chairman of the Board, The National Reentry Network for Returning Citizens
  • CoChair, The D.C. Reentry Task Force

Speaking Engagements

  • Panelist, Massachusetts Export Center’s Export Expo, “Human Rights Issues in Your Supply Chain: Compliance Risks from Withhold Release Orders and the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act,” January 27, 2022