Balqees Mihirig is a Senior Policy Counsel at IRAP. In this role, Balqees works on IRAP’s systemic advocacy to improve humanitarian immigration for refugees and other displaced persons, with a particular focus on issues relating to refugee resettlement and support at the state and local level.
Prior to joining IRAP, Balqees was a Senior Legislative Counsel to the Committee on Civil and Human Rights and the Committee on Consumer Affairs and Business Licensing at the New York City Council. Balqees worked on legislation strengthening the City’s anti-discrimination and consumer rights laws, including improving language access and worker protections for immigrant and underserved New Yorkers. Prior to that, she was Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice Canada, representing the Ministers of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, and Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.
Balqees obtained her law degree in 2009 from the University of Alberta Faculty of Law, where she was an editor of the Alberta Law Review and the Review of Constitutional Studies. After law school, she clerked for the Hon. Justice Dolores Hansen at the Federal Court of Canada. She also obtained an LL.M. from Columbia Law School, where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and received a Certificate of Achievement from the Parker School of Foreign and Comparative Law. She is fluent in Arabic.
Balqees is a member of the New York bar.