Lawyer and diplomat Christine Hanson has been named the new head of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission.

Hanson, a Halifax native and Dalhousie University law graduate, is the current minister-counsellor for Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C.

She will take over her new role as director and CEO on Feb. 8. 

Diana Whalen, the minister responsible for the Human Rights Commission, said in a news release that Hanson will be a strong advocate for human rights in the province.

Hanson received the Building a Better World alumni award from Dalhousie in 2014, and was also an International Women's Forum Global Leadership Foundation Fellow in 2014-15.

She takes over the top job at the commission from interim director and CEO Michelle Higgins, who is a senior solicitor with the provincial Justice Department.