Maha Yassine

Senior Program Coordinator, Human Rights

Maha Yassine is a Senior Program Coordinator, Middle East and North Africa (MENA) on the Human Rights team at Vital Voices. Maha provides expertise on the MENA region to the Voices Against Violence project, managing extreme cases of gender-based violence supported through the emergency assistance fund. She also coordinates programming related to MENA including Early/Forced Marriage and the Iraq program. Maha also leads the Global Urgent Assistance Referral Directory, a global mapping of GBV service providers, and provides expertise to the Balkans Project, a yearlong fellowship that brings together women leaders who are at the forefront of GBV/refugee service provision and advocacy efforts in the Balkans region.

 

Before her current role, she was a client services coordinator and case manager for the Rape and Domestic Violence Information Center in West Virginia, where she supported operations in a supervisory role for three counties. The high rate of drug-assisted rape at West Virginia University inspired Maha to pilot Mountaineers Stand Against Violence, a WVU-focused campaign raising awareness around sexual assault on campus.

 

Prior to joining Vital Voices, Maha lived, worked, and studied in Canada and Lebanon. In 2011, she joined Catholic Social Services, which serves UNHCR resettled refugees and immigrants, as an immigration and resettlement counselor. For a little over a decade, she served as a freelance language and communications consultant, Arabic-English translator/interpreter, teacher, and ESL department coordinator.

 

Born in Beirut, Maha witnessed firsthand the raw impact of the cultural and ideological framework oppressing women in unstable settings. She has found strength and meaning in working with survivors, inspiring her to shift professional focus towards women’s rights and gender-based violence in conflict and post-conflict settings through development.

 

What would your autobiography be called? Defied, Not Defined: Prevailing Despite the Odds