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Aya Saed

Class of 2013-2014

About Aya

Aya Saed is a Bertha Justice Fellow at the Center for Constitutional Rights, where she specializes in challenging unlawful detentions, counterterrorism practices, the criminalization of dissent, and systemic unlawful policing practices. 
Aya was born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to Sudanese parents. Her family migrated to the United States in 2000 to escape political and economic turmoil at home.
Inspired by youth-led protest movements in the US and abroad, Aya spent two summers curating technologies for activists during the Arab-Spring protests as a Google intern. She helped to launch the Speak2Tweet product in 2012, which allowed protesters across Sudan and Ethiopia to tweet using their analog phones despite sporadic Internet connectivity.
As a Quest Bridge Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania, Aya conducted independent research on Islamic finance with Professor Andrew Lamas, served as chair of UMOJA, an umbrella organization for student groups of the African Diaspora, and was a columnist for The Daily Pennsylvanian. Upon graduation, she worked with the Asian Women’s Leadership University (AWLU) Project as a Luce Scholar in Malaysia.
After her Luce year, Aya pursued a joint JD and Master’s in public affairs degree at Harvard and Princeton Universities. She worked as a student attorney at the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, where she provided direct legal representation to tenants facing eviction. She served as president of the Muslim Law Students Association, and co-founded the Deeply Rooted Emerging Leadership fellowship, a program invested in nurturing emotionally intelligent social justice activists and leaders. 
Aya earned a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. (updated January 2019)

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