Catherine Chen leads the organization’s program strategy, policy work, and data and research work. Catherine has spent nearly 20 years combating human trafficking internationally and across the U.S. Prior to joining Polaris, Catherine led the Human Trafficking and Labor Migration team at Humanity United as Director of Investments, building an extensive program to address trafficking and labor exploitation of South Asian migrant workers. She was responsible for building a global media and advocacy strategy to address migrant worker abuses ahead of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. She also created the Partnership for Freedom, a multi-million dollar public-private partnership launched by President Obama to spur innovation in how cities, technology companies and victim service providers combat human trafficking.
Prior to Humanity United, Catherine spent a decade building anti-trafficking programs across Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, and the U.S. She led a U.S. Department of Justice training and technical assistance program to build capacity of 40 anti-trafficking task forces across the U.S. to better identify and assist trafficking victims. Earlier in her career, she spent several years as the Anti-Trafficking and Child Protection Advisor for Save the Children, including two years working in Indonesia following the Indian Ocean tsunami to prevent child sex trafficking and exploitation of migrant domestic workers.
Catherine received her masters degree in public health from Columbia University with a focus on forced migration and health, and her bachelor’s degree in human biology from Stanford University.