Biography of Steven M. Watt

Steven M. Watt is a senior staff attorney with the Human Rights Program, specializing in litigation before federal courts and international tribunals. Watt is counsel in El Masri v. Tenet, and Mohamed v. Jeppesen, challenges to the CIA’s extraordinary rendition program; Ali v. Rumsfeld, a suit challenging U.S. interrogation and detention practices in Afghanistan and Iraq; Sabbithi v. Kuwait, a case on behalf of three Indian women trafficked into the U.S. and enslaved by their diplomat employers; and Gonzales v. United States, a case before the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights on behalf of a victim of domestic violence.

Prior to joining the ACLU, Watt was a Human Rights Fellow at the Center for Constitutional Rights, where he focused on post-9/11 litigation, including Rasul v. Bush, a case involving the detention of Guantánamo Bay detainees; Arar v. Ashcroft, the first legal challenge to extraordinary rendition; and Turkmen v. Ashcroft, a case involving the detention of Arab, South Asian and Muslim men rounded up after the September 11, 2001, attacks.

Before coming to the United States, Watt worked for three years as a public defender and legal policy consultant for the Solomon Islands government, managed refugee camps in Tanzania, worked for a community-based development HIV/AIDS program in Uganda and assisted emergency programs for the internally displaced in Liberia.

Originally from Scotland, Watt holds a law degree from the University of Aberdeen, a Diploma in Legal Practice from the University of Edinburgh, and an LL.M. in International Human Rights from the University of Notre Dame.

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