Managing Principal & Founder

Washington, DC

A founding principal with a twenty-year tenure in Raben's Issue Campaigns practice area, Katharine Huffman is committed to civil and human rights. She brings to her work expertise in criminal justice reform, civil and human rights advocacy, evidence-based policymaking, forensic science reform, chemical policy reform, environmental health and justice advocacy, and emerging applications of technology.

Katherine's client portfolio comprises multi-faceted projects that draw on political strategy, legal analysis, strategic communications, and creative outreach to a variety of audiences, communities, and stakeholders. Additionally, she serves as the executive director of the Square One Project at Columbia University’s Justice Lab.

Katharine's passion for justice motivated her to become a lawyer. She began practicing law at the Southern Center for Human Rights as a Soros Justice Fellow, representing incarcerated people in southeastern prisons and jails facing unconstitutional conditions of confinement and abuse, or seeking access to mental and medical healthcare. Recognizing that solutions required not only the courts' involvement but the active participation of entire communities, her work expanded to actively engage families, advocacy organizations, corrections staff and management, churches, civic organizations, and policymakers.

Katharine moved to the Drug Policy Alliance, where she was responsible for opening the organization’s first state-based office in New Mexico; and later served as the organization’s national Director of State-based Affairs. Through this work, she developed an expertise in engaging diverse groups and bringing together broad coalitions to support state and local policy reform, including people charged with drug offenses, families and community leaders, medical professionals and patients, law enforcement officials, universities, hospitals, public health practitioners, and policymakers of all political stripes. Her experience with coalition-building and community engagement to achieve lasting policy change guides her work for clients at Raben daily.

In addition to leading the Square One Project, Katharine’s projects and clients over the years have included the Innocence Project’s forensic science reform campaign; Breast Cancer Prevention Partners’ advocacy for safer chemical policies; the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission; the Open Society Foundation’s work at the U.N. General Assembly Special Session on drug policy; and many more.

Katharine grew up in Memphis, Tennessee, and received her undergraduate degree in psychology and music from Emory University, where she was a Robert W. Woodruff Scholar. She earned her law degree from Yale Law School. She chairs the board of directors of the Justice Policy Institute, is a board member of the D.C. Corrections Information Council, and was the 2017 recipient of the D.C. Human Rights Commission’s Cornelius “Neil” Alexander Humanitarian Award for her contributions to advancing civil rights and commitment to criminal justice reform.