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immigration attorney & executive director

A refugee and immigrant to various countries herself, Nilou is deeply committed to standing up for the rights of immigrants in the United States and worldwide.  

Prior to founding Pangea in late 2012, Nilou started a sliding-scale, low-fee private practice, where she represented immigrants of many backgrounds seeking relief from deportation and other areas of immigration law.  She also served as supervising attorney of the refugee services program and oversaw caseworkers at Omid Advocates for Human Rights both, abroad and in the United States.  As an attorney with the African Advocacy Network ("AAN"), Nilou represented immigrants in their asylum proceedings and other immigration matters.    

Prior to relocating in San Francisco, Nilou was a Fulbright Fellow in Sierra Leone, West Africa, where she worked with Timap for Justice, a legal services organization dedicated to access to justice for the rural poor.  As part of the fellowship, she taught a year-long Human Rights seminar for the law school clinic at Fourah Bay College and conducted policy research on labor and employment issues in Sierra Leone.  

During law school, Nilou co-taught two Immigration Policy seminars based on research she conducted with classmates through Georgetown Human Rights Action (GHRA).  As president of GHRA, Nilou worked to institutionalize the research missions and policy seminars through Georgetown's Human Rights Institute.  Nilou also previously worked with the International Labor Rights Forum and the Protection Project in Washington, D.C., as well as the United Nations Development Project in Tehran, Iran, where she was born. 

Nilou is the recipient of several awards and honorees, namely the James F. Slevin Award for academic excellence and dedication to social justice.  She received her undergraduate degree magna cum laude from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service ('06) and her law degree from Georgetown Law School ('09), with certification in Refugees and Humanitarian Emergencies from the Institute for the Study of International Migration.  

Nilou is licensed to practice law in Maryland and California.  She speaks six languages: English, Spanish, French, German, Farsi, and Sierra Leonean Krio.