Emily Arnold-Fernández

Executive Director,
Asylum Access

Emily Arnold-Fernandez is executive director of Asylum Access, the leading global refugee human rights organization. After learning that refugees spend on average 17 years in camps, Arnold-Fernández 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 17 offices across 7 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-Fernández’s achievements have earned her numerous accolades, including the Equality and Nondiscrimination Award from Mexico’s National Council to Prevent Discrimination (2016); the prestigious Grinnell Prize (2013); and recognition by the Dalai Lama as one of 50 “Unsung Heroes of Compassion” (2009). She has been featured in the New York Times and published in Forbes, among other media.

Arnold-Fernández was selected as a Social Entrepreneur in Residence at Stanford University in Fall 2012, and currently serves on the Advisory Board of Oxford University’s Refugee Studies Centre. She holds a juris doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center and a bachelor of arts cum laude from Pomona College.