As Director of Amnesty International UK since 2000 Kate has been the prominent champion of campaigns which have included the demand for an end to torture, the abolition of the death penalty worldwide and stronger restrictions on the arms trade. In 2013 Amnesty International successfully campaigned for an International Arms Trade Treaty which was adopted by the United Nations.
Having studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Brasenose College, University of Oxford, Kate was made an Honorary Fellow in 2006. She has been an independent member of the Board of Governors at the University of Brighton since 2007.
Previously at the Refugee Council, Kate was Deputy Chief Executive and headed the UK emergency evacuation programmes from Bosnia and Kosovo, and chaired the Asylum Rights Campaign. In 1998 Kate was seconded to the Home Office where she worked on the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.
Kate regularly appears on television news programmes and on national radio including BBC Radio 4’s flagship programme, Today, in the letters and comment pages of national daily newspapers and on websites. She also leads in the lobbying of senior government figures and is a member of the Foreign Secretary’s Advisory Group on Human Rights.
As head of the UK Section of Amnesty – with 206,811 members – Kate regularly attends local group meetings, regional and national conferences and other events. She is also part of the Amnesty movement’s Global Management Team and responsible for overall direction.
Extensive travel on behalf of Amnesty has taken Kate to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Nepal, Afghanistan, Egypt, Brazil, Sierra Leone and Russia, meeting those working to defend human rights and those whose rights have been abused. She has represented Amnesty with many different Governments.
The award of Honorary Doctor of the University is bestowed upon Kate in recognition of her role as Director of Amnesty International UK. The intrinsic values of Amnesty align well with those of the Staffordshire Graduate: independence, courage, an open mind, and global citizenship. The award further pays tribute to Kate’s success in keeping human rights on the national and international agendas, and to her research and lobbying missions for improved human rights.