Kate Jastram

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Director of Policy & Advocacy | Sérgio Vieira de Mello Chair of International Refugee Law

Pronouns: she/her

Kate Jastram, Sérgio Vieira de Mello Chair of International Refugee Law, leads CGRS's efforts to protect asylum seekers through policy advocacy at the national and international levels, including for people displaced in the context of climate change and disasters. Working closely with the litigation and technical assistance and training programs, the policy and advocacy team provides rapid analysis and practical recommendations for decision-makers to ensure that the United States lives up to its legal and moral commitments to people fleeing persecution and torture. 

Kate is a Christopher Edley, Jr. Lecturer at UC Berkeley School of Law, and has also taught at UC Davis School of Law and UC Law San Francisco.

Kate served as senior legal advisor for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva and as its deputy representative in Washington, D.C., and has worked for USCIS's Refugee, Asylum and International Operations Directorate in San Francisco. As a lead expert on asylum issues for the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, she co-wrote their report for Congress on expedited removal.


University of California, Berkeley School of Law, J.D.

Sarah Lawrence College, M.A. in Women's History

San Francisco State University, B.A., summa cum laude, Departmental Honors in History

Admitted to practice law in California.


2023 Sérgio Vieira de Mello Chair of International Refugee Law, UNHCR and UC Law San Francisco

2022 Deans Emeritus LecturerUniversity of California, Berkeley, School of Law

2005 Arthur C. Helton Human Rights Award, American Immigration Lawyers Association

Service to the Community

Selected Publications and Commentary