Emily Arnold-Fernández



Emily Arnold-Fernández is the President and CEO of Asylum Access, the leading global refugee human rights organisation. After learning that refugees often spend more than two decades in camps, Emily 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 two million refugees worldwide, working intensively in six 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.  

Emily’s achievements have earned her numerous accolades, including the Equality and Non-Discrimination Award from Mexico’s National Council to Prevent Discrimination (2016); the prestigious Grinnell Prize (2013); a Wasserstein Fellowship at Harvard Law School (2013); California Young Lawyers Association Jack Berman Award of Achievement for Distinguished Service to the Profession and the Public (2011); 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.  

Emily was selected as a Social Entrepreneur in Residence at Stanford University in the Autumn of 2012, and has served on the Advisory Board of the Refugee Studies Centre at Oxford University. She holds a Juris Doctorate (JD) from Georgetown University Law Center and a Bachelor of Arts cum laude from Pomona College.