Kristen Leanderson Abrams is the senior director of human trafficking at the McCain Institute. In this capacity, she provides strategic leadership and operational management for the Institute’s program to combat all forms of human trafficking. Abrams is also the director of Buffett-McCain Institute Initiative to Combat Modern Slavery, a multi-disciplinary effort to address forced labor and labor exploitation in the agricultural sector.
Abrams has extensive experience managing programs and advocating for solutions to prevent and end human trafficking and modern slavery around the world. Prior to joining the McCain Institute, she ran a consulting practice providing advice to non-profits working to end exploitation and promote human rights. She also served as the acting director of the Alliance to End Slavery and Trafficking (ATEST).
Earlier in her career, Abrams led international pro bono programs at DLA Piper. In that capacity, she developed and implemented interdisciplinary anti-human trafficking, rule of law, economic development, access to justice, and women’s rights projects in under-resourced regions in the United States and throughout Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia. While at DLA Piper, Abrams also provided counsel on matters of public international law, political law and corporate social responsibility.
Abrams began her career as a legislative aide in the U.S. House of Representatives. She holds a juris doctor degree from The George Washington University Law School and a bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University.