Katharine Huffman

Principal
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Huffman-Katharine1

Katharine has been a Principal at Raben for over 12 years with a primary expertise in criminal justice reform and civil and human rights advocacy. Her work also includes chemical policy reform, environmental health advocacy, and emerging applications of technology.  Her client portfolio comprises multi-faceted projects that draw on political strategy, legal analysis, and creative outreach to a variety of people, communities, and stakeholders.

Katharine has been committed to civil and human rights throughout her life, a passion that motivated her to become a lawyer.  She began practicing law at the Southern Center for Human Rights as a Soros Justice Fellow. Through that work, she represented incarcerated people in southeastern prisons and jails facing unconstitutional conditions of confinement and abuse, or seeking access to mental and medical healthcare. Recognizing that solutions required not only the involvement of the courts, but the active participation of entire communities, her work expanded to actively engage families, advocacy organizations, corrections staff and management, churches, civic organizations, policymakers, and many more.

Community and organizational coalition-building was crucial to Katharine’s work to open New Mexico’s first state-based office of the Drug Policy Alliance, where she led the organization’s justice reform efforts during the Administration of then-Republican Governor Gary Johnson and a Democratic-controlled state legislature. Her contributions united diverse groups, bringing together hundreds of people directly impacted by the drug war: people charged with drug offenses, families and community leaders, medical professionals and patients, law enforcement officials, public health practitioners, teachers, and policymakers of all political stripes to support the reform of state drug policies.

Katharine’s projects and clients at Raben over the years include the Innocence Project’s forensic science reform campaign; Vera Institute’s Commission on Safety and Abuse in America’s Prisons; Union Theological Seminary’s amplification of progressive faith voices and values in policy and politics; and Breast Cancer Prevention Partners’ advocacy for responsible chemical policies.

Katharine grew up in Memphis, Tennessee and received her undergraduate degree in psychology and music from Emory University, where she was a Robert W. Woodruff Scholar. She earned her law degree from Yale Law School.

Career Highlights

  • Director of State Affairs at the Drug Policy Alliance
  • Soros Justice Fellow at the Southern Center for Human Rights