Heather Collister
Senior Fellow

Heather Collister is a human rights officer with the International Service for Human Rights (ISHR) in Geneva, Switzerland. ISHR is an international non-governmental organisation supporting and facilitating the work of human rights defenders with the United Nations system and regional human rights system ( As a member of the International Human Rights Defenders Programme, Heather’s work involves advocacy to make the international human rights system in Geneva accessible to national human rights defenders, and responsive to their concerns. She also helps to deliver ISHR’s training courses for human rights defenders and writes articles on latest developments in the international human rights system.

Previously, Heather worked as project coordinator with the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, New Delhi, where she carried out research and advocacy on the situation of human rights defenders throughout the Commonwealth. The research formed the basis of a report submitted to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting held in Trinidad and Tobago in 2009. Heather has also undertaken research assignments for UNICEF India and the South Asia Human Rights Documentation Centre, New Delhi.

Heather holds an M.A. from the University of St Andrews (Scotland) and a Ph.D. in Political Philosophy from Princeton University, where she was a graduate associate in the Program in Law and Public Affairs and was awarded a Graduate Prize Fellowship at the University Center for Human Values from 2005 – 2006.