Cecilie Hellestveit has a background in international law, conflict studies and Middle Eastern studies. She holds a PhD in international law of armed conflict from the Faculty of Law at the University of Oslo. Her Phd-dissertation at the Faculty of Law, University of Oslo (2014) concerned the rules of conduct of hostilities in non-international armed conflict.
Hellestveit has previously worked at PRIO (Peace Research Institute, Oslo), and NCHR (Norwegian Centre for Human Rights) and at various institutes abroad. She was part of the Gulf Research Unit at the University of Oslo, with a particular focus on Saudi Arabia and Iraq from 2010 to 2013. She served as the special rapporteur on conduct of hostilities in military operations to the International Society for Military Law and the Laws of War in 2008-2009.
Hellestveit is currently a Non-Resident Fellow at the Atlantic Council in Washington DC, member of the Norwegian Council on Ethics for the Norwegian Petroleum Fund, and vice-chairwoman of the Board of the Norwegian Refugee Council. She is a regular foreign policy analyst in the Norwegian daily Dagens Næringsliv.