Katharina Obser is a Senior Program Officer in the Women’s Refugee Commission’s Migrant Rights and Justice program, where she advocates for the rights of women, children and families seeking protection. She researches and advocates on asylum, immigration detention, and enforcement policies affecting refugee women and children and advocates at a national level for U.S. immigration and asylum reforms. An expert on U.S. immigration detention, she writes frequently on immigration detention and refugee protection issues, and has researched, authored, and co-authored numerous reports on asylum and detention in the United States as well the European refugee response.
She previously researched and advocated on immigration detention issues at Human Rights First, where she also worked to expand access to legal representation nationally for asylum seekers and immigrants, and earlier coordinated Human Rights First's pro bono legal representation program for indigent asylum seekers in the Washington, DC office.
Katharina holds a B.A. in Political Science and French from the University of Michigan, and a Master’s Degree in Forced Migration Studies from the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa.