Ruma Mandal

Director, International Law Programme


Ruma Mandal has led the International Law Programme at Chatham House since 2014. She has worked on a wide range of public international law issues, including roles with the UK government (as a legal adviser in the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office) and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

Ruma’s expertise includes international human rights law, international refugee law and international humanitarian law. Alongside advisory work, she has been involved in litigation, negotiation of international instruments, capacity-building, as well as monitoring and protection initiatives.

Her work with UNHCR included drafting a number of key guidelines on interpreting international law, including on exclusion from refugee status and the protection of stateless persons.

Past experience

2017 - Head, International Law Programme, Chatham House
2014-17 Senior Research Fellow, International Law Programme, Chatham House
2010-13 Consultant, UN High Commissioner for Refugees 
2005-08 Consultant on International and Constitutional Law Issues, South Africa 
2003-05 Consultant, UN High Commissioner for Refugees 
1997-2002 Assistant Legal Adviser, Foreign and Commonwealth Office 
1996 Associate Protection Officer, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, London 
1995 Admitted to Bar of England and Wales 
1990-93 MA (Hons) Law, University of Cambridge