Reverend Karen Tse, an international human rights attorney and ordained Unitarian Universalist minister, is building global Communities of Conscience as she pioneers Rule of Law Initiatives in Asia.
A social entrepreneur supported by Echoing Green and Ashoka, Karen Tse has successfully negotiated and implemented groundbreaking measures in judicial reform with the Chinese, Vietnamese, and Cambodian governments. Ms. Tse 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 a local prison without trial. A former San Francisco public defender, she later moved to Cambodia in 1994 to train the country’s first core group of public defenders and subsequently served as a United Nations Judicial Mentor. Under the auspices of the U.N., she trained judges and prosecutors and established the first arraignment court in Cambodia.
As the Founder and CEO of International Bridges to Justice (IBJ), she launched the first ever government-sanctioned Advisement of Rights Campaign in 31 mainland Chinese provinces, and has trained hundreds of Chinese, Vietnamese, and Cambodian lawyers. Currently she is working on mobilizing large scale international citizen support for a proactive human rights movement in Asia with the backing of the Open Society Institute and others.
Ms. Tse is a graduate of UCLA Law School and Harvard Divinity School.