Kate Jastram

Director of Policy & Advocacy

As Director of Policy & Advocacy, Kate Jastram leads CGRS’s efforts to fight back against the current Administration’s attack on asylum seekers through policy advocacy and public education.

Kate served as a legal advisor for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Washington, DC and in Geneva, and has worked in the San Francisco Asylum Office of USCIS Refugee, Asylum and International Operations Directorate.  As a lead expert on asylum issues for the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, an independent bi-partisan federal agency, she co-wrote their study for Congress on expedited removal, for which she was a co-recipient of the Arthur C. Helton Human Rights Award given by the American Immigration Lawyers Association.  She was a member of the American Bar Association’s Commission on Immigration Advisory Task Force on Civil Immigration Detention Standards. She is active in the leadership of the American Society of International Law, serving as co-chair of the International Refugee Law Interest Group.  

She joined the faculty at UC Berkeley in 2002, lecturing at the law school and in the Development Engineering graduate program at the Blum Center for Developing Economies.  She has also taught at UC Hastings College of the Law and at UC Davis King Hall School of Law.  She has lectured and spoken widely at conferences in the U.S., Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America.  Her writings include Regional Refugee Protection in Comparative Perspective: Lessons Learned from the Asia-Pacific, the Americas, Africa and Europe, University of New South Wales Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, Policy Brief 2 (2015). 

Kate received her B.A. summa cum laude in History from San Francisco State University, her M.A. in Women’s History from Sarah Lawrence College, and her J.D. from UC Berkeley School of Law.