- Profession: Former President and Executive Director of Muslim Advocates
- Nationality: American
- Known for: Advocating for Muslim rights
- Fun Fact: Prior to joining Muslim Advocates in 2005, Khera was Counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee.
- Fun Fact: Before her service with the Senate Judiciary Committee, Khera was an associate with Hogan & Hartson.
- Fun Fact:
Farhana Khera is the first executive director of Muslim Advocates. Prior to joining Muslim Advocates in 2005, Khera was Counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Property Rights. In the Senate, she worked for six years directly for Senator Russ Feingold, the Chairman of the Constitution Subcommittee.
Khera focused substantially on the Patriot Act, racial and religious profiling, and other civil liberties issues raised by the government’s anti-terrorism policies after September 11, 2001. She was also the Senator’s lead staff member developing anti-racial profiling legislation and organizing subcommittee hearings on racial profiling, Ms. Khera wrote the first drafts of the End Racial Profiling Act and organized the first ever Congressional hearing on racial profiling.
Before her service with the Senate Judiciary Committee, Khera was an associate with Hogan & Hartson, specializing in commercial and administrative litigation. She also worked with Ross, Dixon & Masback, serving as the lead associate on several pro bono employment discrimination cases, which resulted in the firm being honored with the Outstanding Achievement Award by the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs.
Khera has been honored by the Auburn Theological Seminary with its Lives of Commitment Award, along with Kathleen Kennedy Townsend and Barbara Friedman. She has also been recognized by Islamica Magazine as one of “10 Young Muslim Visionaries” for leadership, innovative approaches, and “a level of success that bodes well for America.” Because of her leadership in civil rights, the White House asked Ms. Khera to facilitate the first and only meeting between Muslim community advocates with President Barack Obama.
Khera has written op-eds in the Washington Post and New York Times and has been quoted or profiled in numerous publications including The New York Times, Associated Press, Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Politico, and the Los Angeles Times. Khera has also made numerous appearances to discuss civil rights issues on national televised news, including CNN, MSNBC, C-SPAN, and the Charlie Rose Show.
She received her B.A. with honors in Political Science and Economics from Wellesley College and her J.D. from Cornell Law School. At Wellesley, she served as president of the student body and co-founded the first Muslim student organization, al-Muslimat (“The Muslim Women”). At Cornell, Khera was a finalist in the law school’s annual Cuccia Cup Moot Court Competition and was an editor of the Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy.
After 16 years of service as the first executive director and president of Muslim Advocates, Farhana Khera stepped down from her position on July 16, 2021. Rashad Alvi, Board Chair of the Muslim Advocates said, “We are enormously grateful for Farhana’s tireless dedication, leadership, sacrifice, and commitment to freedom, justice and equality for all. We thank her for her service to our community and our country and wish her the very best.”