biography of diana buttu

Diana Buttu was born to Palestinian citizens of Israel who moved to Canada to protect their daughter from the discrimination they faced in their homeland. Ms. Buttu was raised Canadian and didn’t really identify as Palestinian until 1987, when she visited Palestine just days before the first Intifada began. After this life-changing trip, Diana began to work for civil rights and fair application of international law for Palestinians.

After earning a law degree from Queen's University in Canada and a Masters of Law from Stanford University in the U.S., Ms. Buttu moved to Palestine in 2000. She says that this move was motivated by the fact that she "loved Palestine, yet hadn't really contributed." Shortly after her arrival, the second Intifada began and she took a position with the Negotiations Support Unit of the PLO. Diana has since obtained an Executive MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at North-western University.

In addition to her work with the Negotiations Support Unit, Diana has laboured extensively to influence the way the situation in Palestine and Israel is depicted by the media. "At the end of the day the world will only accept what it perceives as fair," she explains. "So I decided to lay out the facts so people could understand life under occupation and the constant discrimination Palestinians face."

Ms. Buttu was also involved in litigation at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, which resulted in their landmark opinion against Israel’s wall, which cuts through swaths of Palestinian territory in the West Bank, dividing people from their schools, places of employment, and families.

While Ms Buttu is no longer employed by the PLO, she continues to work for justice for Palestinians. Ms Buttu's media work continues through collaboration with the Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU).

Ms Buttu is a fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and Harvard Law School. She also held a fellowship at the Stanford Centre for Conflict Resolution and Negotiation.


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