Shannon Al-Wakeel joined Stanford Law School in 2023 as executive director of the Levin Center for Public Service and Public Interest Law. Prior to joining SLS, she served as managing director of the Center for Public Interest Advocacy and Collaboration at Northeastern Law School, where she developed and orchestrated interdisciplinary research, student opportunities, and events that furthered its public interest mission.
Shannon’s career has also encompassed movement lawyering, systemic policy advocacy, and direct legal representation, as well as nonprofit formation and leadership. She was founding executive director of Muslim Justice League (MJL), a Boston-based nonprofit advocating for rights that are threatened in the name of national security, which she launched with three other Muslim women in response to the federal “countering violent extremism” campaign announced in 2014. Her work with MJL expanded free representation for people pressured to speak with FBI and other Joint Terrorism Task Force agents and cultivated resistance to surveillance, coercion, and criminalization of Muslim and other “suspect” communities. Previously, her work as a fellow with Massachusetts Law Reform Institute’s Immigrants Protection Project, and later as state policy director of Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, contributed to the advancement of immigrants’ rights at municipal, state and federal levels.
Shannon received a bachelor of fine arts focused on printmaking from the University of Pennsylvania in conjunction with Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and her law degree with honors from Harvard Law School. She is a member of the Massachusetts Bar and has served on the Boards of Directors of the New England Muslim Bar Association and the ACLU of Massachusetts. She presently serves on the Board of Directors of Defending Rights and Dissent, an organization working to strengthen participatory democracy by protecting the right to political expression.