Karen I. Tse
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An international human rights attorney and ordained Unitarian Universalist minister, Reverend Karen I. Tse works with Rule of Law initiatives across the globe. Tse received her Master's degree from Harvard University School of Divinity, and received her J.D. degree from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law. She obtained her Bachelor's degree from Scripps College.
Karen first developed her interest in the cross section of criminal law and human rights as a Thomas J. Watson fellow in 1986 after observing Southeast Asian refugees detained in local prison without trial. After graduating from law school, Tse worked as a San Francisco public defender. Later on in 1994, Tse continued her passion for criminal justice and moved to Cambodia to train the country's first cadre of public defenders. There, she served as a United Nations Judicial Mentor. Under the Auspices of the United Nations Center for Human Rights in Cambodia and the Cambodia Defenders Project, she trained judges and prosecutors and established the first arraignment court in Cambodia.
In 2000, Tse founded International Bridges to Justice, a non-profit organization which aims to eradicate torture in the 21st century and protect due process rights for accused people throughout the world. IBJ is dedicated to protecting the legal rights of everyday citizens in developing countries, and has a special focus on the indigent accused. The organization focuses on institutionalizing defender practices by training public defenders, or legal aid lawyers, in countries where their help is needed. IBJ has expanded to countries throughout Africa and Asia, including Rwanda, Burundi, China, Cambodia, India, and Zimbabwe.
As a social entrepreneur, Tse is supported by the Skoll, Echoing Green and Ashoka foundations. Tse has negotiated and implemented measures in judicial reform with the Chinese, Vietnamese and Cambodian governments.
- International Bridges to Justice
- Profile at Ashoka.org
- Profile on USNews
- Profile in the book, "Be Bold"
- Karen Tse Wins Gleitsman Award
- Profile at EchoingGreen.org
- Karen Tse Receives 2008 ABA International Human Rights Award
- Karen Tse Profiled in Forbes: "The Dreamer"
- CNN Video: Philanthropy and the Economy