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Polaris Names Catherine Chen as Chief Program Officer

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Feb. 6, 2019)—Polaris, a leader in the global fight to eradicate modern slavery and help survivors restore their freedom, announced today that Catherine Chen, a longtime leader in the anti-human trafficking field and expert in international labor trafficking has joined the nonprofit as its Chief Program Officer. Ms. Chen brings a long history of innovation and community engagement to the organization, and she leads Polaris’s program strategy and teams.

“Catherine is an exciting leader who has worked tirelessly on behalf of communities and survivors around the world. I have admired her dedication to the anti-human trafficking movement for many years,” said Bradley Myles, Polaris CEO. “Her addition to our organization’s leadership brings a new era of innovation and deepens Polaris’s expertise to tackle the systems that allow human trafficking to flourish.”

Ms. Chen comes to us from Humanity United, a foundation of eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife, Pamela. There, she built the foundation’s multi-million dollar Human Trafficking and Labor Migration portfolio as Director of Investments. In that position, Chen was responsible for a range of international programs to address trafficking and exploitation, including spearheading efforts to engage governments, migrant workers, multinational corporations, media outlets, and human rights groups to tackle forced labor and exploitation of millions of migrant workers in the Persian Gulf ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Prior to joining Humanity United, Chen led a U.S. Department of Justice program to train and build the capacity of anti-human trafficking task forces across the United States. Before that, she spent several years as the Anti-Trafficking and Child Protection Advisor for Save the Children, including two years working in Indonesia following the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami to prevent child sex trafficking and exploitation of migrant domestic workers.


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