Yasmine Maria Sherif was born in Stockholm in 1964 to a Swedish mother and Egyptian father. She graduated from Stockholm University in 1987 with a Master of Laws, specialized in international humanitarian law and international human rights law.
Ms. Sherif has served with the United Nations in Afghanistan, Cambodia, Balkans, Sudan, and the Middle East, as well as at the United Nations Headquarters in New York and Geneva. Among other things, she worked for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), where she initiated and led the first repatriation of refugees back to Bosnia following the Dayton Peace agreement in 1995. Working for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in New York, she coordinated the Protection of Civilians agenda in the late 1990s. At the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), she founded and led United Nations largest rule of law assistance programme, providing rule of law assistance to over thirty crisis-countries, and served as the Deputy Special Representative of Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People.
Ms. Sherif has also been an Adjunct Professor at Long Island University (LIU) lecturing on international law and international politics. She is the Co-Founder of the Global Center for Justice & Humanity, and the Director of Diakonia’s International Humanitarian Law & Resource Center. She is an elquent public speaker and has appeared in the media in the US, Canada and Scandinavia. Ms. Sherif is the author of The Case for Humanity: An Extraordinary Session, which was launched at the United Nations in New York in October 2015.