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Kristen Leanderson Abrams

Senior Director of Combatting Human Trafficking, McCain Institute for International Leadership

Kristen Leanderson Abrams is the senior director of combatting 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 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.

Thoughtful Leaders. Decision Makers. Activists and Experts.

The Sedona Forum is the McCain Institute’s annual, high-level gathering of national and international leaders held each spring at the Enchantment Resort in the red rock country of Sedona, Arizona. Starting from the assumption of character-driven leadership and core democratic values, The Sedona Forum convenes thought-leaders, decision makers, activists and diverse experts to discuss approaches and solutions to real-world problems.