Manar Waheed joined the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in March 2017. As Senior Legislative and Advocacy Counsel, she works on the intersection of issues impacting Muslim, Arab, Middle Eastern, and South Asian communities, including immigration, national security and counterterrorism, and hate violence and bullying. Manar works to ensure that policies affecting these communities are consistent with the Constitution, civil liberties, and human rights. She also plays a role in developing and implementing strategic campaigns and programming within the National Political Advocacy Department with an eye towards engaging Muslim, Arab, Middle Eastern, and South Asian communities.
Prior to the ACLU, Manar was the Deputy Policy Director for Immigration at the White House Domestic Policy Council in the Obama Administration where she assisted with the development of the President’s strategy for building a 21st century immigration system. In addition to immigration policy, this work included addressing anti-immigrant and -refugee sentiment and protecting the rights of all people against discrimination, harassment, and hate attacks. Manar previously served as Policy Director at South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) and led their work on immigration, profiling, hate violence, and gender equity. She also worked with domestic violence survivors at Legal Services of New York City as a Senior Staff Attorney, where she provided direct services and legal representation to survivors who were primarily from immigrant communities, and the National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women, where she provided technical assistance on cases in which battered women were charged with crimes. Manar has co-taught a seminar on domestic violence and legal intervention, which included the impact of media on violence at Wagner College. From 2009 to 2012, she served on the board of the Muslim Bar Association of New York.
Manar received her J.D. from Brooklyn Law School in June of 2004 and her B.A. from Wellesley College in 1999.