Katherine Guernsey

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Katherine Guernsey
Agency Disability Rights Coordinator

As USAID’s Disability Rights Coordinator, Katherine is responsible for advising the Agency on disability inclusion at both the program and policy levels, and manages the Agency’s Disability Program Fund.  In this capacity, she is working to promote U.S. development assistance that recognizes and respects persons with disabilities and their representative organizations as not only development beneficiaries on an equal basis with others, but as partners in the design, implementation, and evaluation of projects that impact the lives of the world’s one billion persons with disabilities.

Katherine is a public international lawyer who has dedicated her career to the field of human rights, with an emphasis on disability inclusive development and diplomacy.  Much of her work has focused on enhancing the capacity of stakeholders to effectively formulate and implement disability inclusive policies and practices. She was extensively involved in negotiation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), working alongside both governmental and non-governmental delegations.  She has authored numerous publications associated with the treaty and international disability law and policy. From 2010-2017, she served as Senior Policy Advisor to the Special Advisor for International Disability Rights, Judith Heumann, at the U.S. Department of State, promoting disability inclusive diplomacy as a priority in U.S. foreign policy.

Katherine received her Master of Laws in international and comparative law from The George Washington University Law School, and her Juris Doctorate and Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degrees from Ohio Northern University.

Last updated: January 21, 2020

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