Joseph Schechla is a founder of the Housing and Land Rights Network (HLRN), the thematic structure of Habitat International Coalition (HIC) dedicated to creating knowledge, building capacity and advocating for HIC members to support and develop human rights standards related to habitat: housing, water and livelihoods and related process in international bodies and forums Foremost among them is the United Nations human rights system. As a United Nations official, he has served as a representative of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Palestine and Tunisia, and has served as an advisor to the International Labor Organization and the United Nations Support Mission in Libya. Born in the USA, Joseph has an academic background in international relations (foreign policy vs. international law) and has taught in the US and Germany. He has also served as an adjunct professor in the Department of Law at the American University in Cairo. He specializes in the Middle East/North Africa region, where he has lived for 25 years.