Wisla Heneghan, Deputy Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer at Human Rights Watch, leads the organization’s operational finance, administration, development & outreach, general counsel, human resources, technology and security functions. She supervises a staff of almost 200 professionals in more than 50 countries.
Wisla joins HRW with over 20 years of experience working in global non-profit and for-profit organizations, most recently as the Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel of The Nature Conservancy.
While at The Nature Conservancy Wisla had responsibility for its global operations including the finance, technology, human resources, internal communications, marketing, internal audit, legal, diversity & inclusion, and physical safety functions supporting staff working in nearly 70 countries. She was also engaged in fundraising efforts in Asia, Europe and Latin America and served on the organization’s Executive Leadership Team and its programmatic Oversight Committee.
Prior to joining The Nature Conservancy in 2013, Wisla spent over 15 years in the for-profit sector, including as VP and Associate General Counsel at Staples, Inc., at the time a publicly traded office products company. At Staples, in addition to providing legal counsel on antitrust, real estate, government procurement and various other commercial matters, Wisla helped operationalize the organic and acquisitive expansion of the organization in the US, Europe, Brazil, China and India. Wisla started her career in private practice with the law firms of Goodwin Procter and Mintz Levin where she specialized in corporate law and institutional real estate investment matters.
Wisla was born in Brazil, raised in Brazil and New York. Wisla is fluent in English and Portuguese, and conversational in Spanish.