University of Connecticut University of UC Title Fallback Connecticut

Faculty and Staff

HRI Leadership



Kathryn Libal
Director, Human Rights Institute | Associate Professor, Social Work & Human Rights

Kathryn Libal, PhD, is Associate Professor of Social Work at the University of Connecticut and Director of the Human Rights Institute. Following her doctoral studies in cultural anthropology at the University of Washington, she taught women’s studies and anthropology at the University of Kansas for several years. Since 2007, she has taught at the School of Social Work, specializing in human rights, social welfare and the state. She has published on women’s and children’s rights movements in Turkey and on the advocacy of international non-governmental organizations on behalf of Iraqi refugees. Her current scholarship focuses on the localization of human rights norms and practices in the United States, including a co-edited volume with Shareen Hertel on Human Rights in the United States: Beyond Exceptionalism (Cambridge University Press, 2011) and a new project on the politics of food security and food policy in the United States as a human rights concern. She is also author (with Scott Harding) of Human Rights-Based Approaches to Community Practice in the United States (Spring, 2015) and co-editor (with S. Megan Berthold, Rebecca Thomas, and Lynne Healy) of Advancing Human Rights in Social Work Education (Council on Social Work Education Press, 2014).