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Listening to Survivors

Nonviolence Programs

Legal and Policy Reform

Training and Education

Cheryl Thomas

Founder and Executive Director

Cheryl Thomas is the founding Director of Global Rights for Women.

Since 1993, Cheryl has worked with partners around the world to promote women’s human rights and achieve effective systemic and legal reform to end violence against women and girls. She has participated in the drafting of laws on violence against women and girls and trained stakeholders to enforce such laws in dozens of countries.

She has worked closely with the United Nations to develop model standards for violence against women laws, leading a global consultation on the enforcement of laws in Spain in 2015. Cheryl co-chaired the United Nations Expert Group Meeting to draft UN Handbook for Legislation on Violence against Women.

In 2021, she received the Arabella Babb Mansfield Award from the National Association of Women Lawyers, and in 2014 she received the Myra Bradwell Award from the Minnesota Women Lawyers. In 2011, she was recognized by Newsweek magazine as one of 150 Women Who Shake the World.

Former positions include Director of the Women’s Rights Program at The Advocates for Human Rights, Executive Director at WATCH, partner and Shareholder at Briggs and Morgan Law Firm, Special Assistant Attorney General at the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office, and Adjunct Professor at the University of Minnesota Law School.