Stanford Humanitarian Program

Research-based solutions to today's humanitarian problems.

We support solutions to humanitarian issues by employing interdisciplinary research and leveraging practitioner engagement.

Our research is informed by disciplines including law, political science, and technology policy, and it is performed in collaboration with implementers (including policymakers, aid groups, government agencies, U.N. institutions, international organizations, community leaders, and others). Our ultimate aim is to support practicable, research-based solutions that can help minimize harm to communities during ongoing humanitarian crises.

Humanitarian crises that intersect with technology.

The Stanford Humanitarian Program focuses on community-wide harms that occur within and as a result of humanitarian crises. We understand humanitarian crises as those caused by major events that seriously threaten the well-being of communities, including armed conflict, mass atrocities, environmental degradation, or climate change. We see the issues that arise out of these contexts as being diverse, complex, and often life-threatening, having the potential to cause wide-spread suffering and displacement.

In today’s world, humanitarian crises often raise issues that intersect with technology, such as how technology could be used to better protect civilians or humanitarians operating in active conflict zones, or how social media interacts with the incitement of violence. We are predominantly focused on this intersection, considering the responsible application of technology where it can demonstrably improve conditions, and providing recommendations where there is evidence that technology is worsening the situation.

We focus on this intersection because we think addressing community harms that arise from today’s humanitarian crises requires an understanding of technology’s ability to provide solutions or amplify harms. To do this well, we believe research needs to be both interdisciplinary as well as collaborative with those in the field. We launched the Stanford Humanitarian Program to address this need.

Stanford Humanitarian Program 12

Stanford Humanitarian Program 16

Our Work

Through direct partnerships with implementers, we provide expert research accompanied by concrete policy recommendations.

We produce interdisciplinary research rooted in law, political science, and technology policy and accompany that research with concrete recommendations. Our work is intended to inform practicable policy solutions, and is thus tailored to be accessible and immediately usable for practitioners working on humanitarian crises.

Our Work

Meet the Team

  • Senior Lecturer in Law
  • Director, Stanford Program in International and Comparative Law
  • Director, Stanford Center on International Conflict and Negotiation

Allen S. Weiner, JD ’89, is an international legal scholar with expertise in such wide-ranging fields as international and national security law, the law of war, international conflict resolution, and international criminal law (including transitional justice). His scholarship focuses on international law and the response to the contemporary security threats of international terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and situations of widespread humanitarian atrocities. He also explores assertions by states of “war powers” under international law, domestic law, and just war theory in the context of asymmetric armed conflicts between states and nonstate armed groups and the response to terrorism. In the realm of international conflict resolution, his highly multidisciplinary work analyzes the barriers to resolving violent political conflicts, with a particular focus on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Weiner’s scholarship is deeply informed by experience; he practiced international law in the U.S. Department of State for more than a decade advising government policymakers, negotiating international agreements, and representing the United States in litigation before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the International Court of Justice, and the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal. Senior Lecturer Weiner is director of the Stanford Program in International and Comparative Law and director of the Stanford Center on International Conflict and Negotiation. Before joining the Stanford Law School faculty in 2003, Weiner served as legal counselor to the U.S. Embassy in The Hague and attorney adviser in the Office of the Legal Adviser of the U.S. Department of State. He was a law clerk to Judge John Steadman of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.

Stanford Humanitarian Program 17

Bailey Ulbricht

  • Founding Executive Director

Bailey Ulbricht is the founding Executive Director at the Stanford Humanitarian Program. Her research interests are centered around ways technology hinders or enhances reduction, prevention, and/or justice-seeking for community harms that occur during or as a result of humanitarian crises, spanning areas including international law, the law of armed conflict, human rights law, and U.S. foreign policy. Before coming to Stanford, she founded the humanitarian ed-tech nonprofit Paper-Airplanes, was a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Turkey, and was a humanitarian worker with refugee communities on the Turkish-Syrian border, through which she was selected as a Davis Peace Fellow. Bailey has two masters' degrees in Islamic Law and Islamic Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London, where she was a Marshall Scholar. She received her B.A. in International Relations magna cum laude from Carleton College and her J.D. from Stanford Law School.

Stanford Humanitarian Program 4

Afi Blackshear

  • Former Research Assistant

Afi is a 3L at Stanford Law. He graduated from UC San Diego with a B.A. in Political Science. In law school, Afi has developed a strong interest in technology, innovation, and privacy. This includes coursework and research in antitrust, data privacy, artificial intelligence, blockchain, and other converging issue areas, as well as his current research focused on Humanitarian Notification Systems with the Stanford Humanitarian Program.

Stanford Humanitarian Program 3

Marie Wako

  • Former Research Assistant

Marie Wako, a Fulbright scholar, is an LLM candidate at Stanford Law School and an associate lawyer at Nishimura & Asahi in Tokyo, Japan. Marie has experience with assisting private companies and government agencies with export control laws and economic sanctions, as well as in international public law and international trade law matters. Prior to joining her law firm, she worked with government agencies and international organizations, including the chambers division at the International Criminal Court and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Stanford Humanitarian Program 15

Meghan Anand

  • Former Research Assistant

Meghan Anand is a 3L at Stanford Law School focused on the intersection of national security, emerging technology, and international trade. At SLS, Meghan serves as a Member Editor of the Stanford Law Review and is co-president of the National Security Law Society. She is also a Research Assistant for the AU’s Tech, Law, and Security Program and has worked at the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs at the State Department. Before law school, Meghan was a management consultant assisting aerospace, defense, space, and tech companies with corporate strategy and M&A across AI, new space, and other technology areas. She graduated from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service with a major in Technology and International Affairs and minors in International Business and Computer Science.

Contact us.

We welcome new projects, partners, and collaborators.