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Cornell University Cornell Brooks Public Policy

Alexandra Dufresne

Alexandra Dufresne outside with green background

Senior Lecturer

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Alexandra Dufresne is a lawyer who works at the intersection of law and public policy.  She directs a new U.S. state-level policy and advocacy clinic (beginning Spring 2023) and teaches international human rights, immigration law and policy, and children’s rights.  

Professor Dufresne spent most of her career working as a lawyer for children and refugees at leading NGOs, including the Center for Children’s Advocacy, Connecticut Voices for Children, and CLINIC/Boston College Immigration and Asylum Project, where she led law students in the representation of detained refugees and immigrants. Working closely with community partners, including youth in foster care, she has led successful advocacy campaigns in Connecticut and before the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child and the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women. 

Professor Dufresne founded a human rights clinic at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences and taught children’s rights and refugee and immigration law at the University of Zurich Faculty of Law and Yale College, where she served as Dean of Morse College.  She has served on several NGO and government boards and committees in Europe and the U.S. and on Connecticut’s Child Fatality Review Panel.  She writes frequently about children’s rights, women’s rights, and refugee rights for various news outlets in Europe and the U.S.

Professor Dufresne received her undergraduate degree from Yale University and her J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School.  She clerked for the Hon. Martha Craig Daughtrey of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit from 2001-2002.