Layli Miller-Muro

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Tahirih Justice Center

Layli Miller-Muro is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Tahirih Justice Center, which
provides free legal services and engages in advocacy on behalf of immigrant women and girls
fleeing human rights abuses. In its 24th year and with 5 cities across the United States, Tahirih has
protected over 27,000 women and girls who courageously refuse to be victims of violence. Layli
founded the organization in 1997 following her involvement as a law student in a high-profile case
that set national precedent and revolutionized asylum law in the U.S. The case was that of Fauziya
Kassindja, a 17-year-old girl who had fled Togo in fear of a forced polygamous marriage and a
tribal practice known as female genital mutilation. After an uphill legal battle, Fauziya was granted
asylum in 1996 by the US Board of Immigration Appeals. This decision opened the doors to
gender-based persecution as grounds for asylum. Using her portion of the proceeds from a book
she and Fauziya co-authored about the case (Do They Hear You When You Cry? Delacorte Press,
1998), Layli established Tahirih. Prior to joining Tahirih as Executive Director, Layli was an attorney
at the law firm of Arnold & Porter where she practiced international litigation and maintained a
substantial pro bono practice. Prior to joining Arnold & Porter, Layli was an attorney-advisor at the
U.S. Department of Justice, Board of Immigration Appeals. Layli was named Newsweek/Daily
Beast’s 150 Most Fearless Women in the World, GoldmanSach’s Top 100 Most Innovative
Entrepreneurs, and won the Washington Post Award for Management Excellence. She lives in
Virginia with her husband and three young children.