Fatima Hassan
human rights lawyer and social justice activist


Fatima Hassan is a human rights lawyer and social justice activist and the founder of the Health Justice Initiative (HJI) She was the executive director of the Open Society Foundation for South Africa (OSF-SA) from mid-2013 to mid-2019. She has dedicated her professional life to defending and promoting human rights in South Africa, especially in the field of HIV/AIDS where she worked for the AIDS Law Project and also acted for the Treatment Action Campaign in many of its legal cases.

She has a BA and LL.B from the University of the Witwatersrand and an LL.M from Duke University. She clerked at the Constitutional Court of South Africa for Justice Kate O'Regan and has served as the special advisor to former Minister Barbara Hogan (Health; Public Enterprises). A former co-director and a founding Trustee of Ndifuna Ukwazi, Hassanpreviously served on the Boards of the Raith Foundation; SA Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF-SA); the International Treatment Preparedness Coalition (ITPC); and the SA Council for Medical Schemes. She is currently serving on the Board of Global Witness. She is the recipient of several fellowships and awards, including the Franklin Thomas SA Constitutional Court Fellowship, and the Tom and Andi Bernstein Distinguished Human Rights Fellowship at Yale University’s School of Law. Her opinion pieces, including for Le Monde, can be found here. She is also the host of a special COVID-19 and IP-related podcast called ACCESS.