As Senior Associate in the Refugee Protection Program, Katharina Obser leads Human Rights First’s efforts to reform U.S. policies and practices relating to immigration detention. Katharina has also worked to improve and expand access to legal representation nationally for asylum seekers and immigrants, and she previously coordinated Human Rights First’s pro bono legal representation program for indigent asylum seekers in the Washington, DC office.
Katharina has also worked at the Women’s Refugee Commission, where she conducted research and advocacy on immigration detention policies affecting immigrant women and asylum seekers, monitoring conditions in immigration detention facilities, authoring two reports, and advocating at a national level for detention reform and an increase in the use of alternatives to detention.
Katharina holds a Masters in Forced Migration Studies from the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa and a B.A. in Political Science and French from the University of Michigan.