In her capacity as Director of Programs, Karen Naimer oversees all activities within PHR’s program division. Her oversight includes research, investigations, asylum, capacity development, and advocacy-related projects. She also supervises initiatives ranging from PHR’s U.S. Asylum Network to international programs focusing on documenting and responding to sexual violence in conflict zones and mass killings.
Naimer has extensive experience in international criminal law, international humanitarian law, and human rights law. Prior to joining PHR, Naimer was an Associate Professor at New York University’s Center for Global Affairs, where she taught international law, and she consulted to the Brandeis Institute for International Judges. In 2007-2008, Naimer was the Edmond J. Safra Faculty Fellow at Harvard University’s Center for Ethics. Her work has been featured or cited in many media outlets, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Guardian, PBS NewsHour, the BBC, NPR’s All Things Considered, Foreign Policy, PLOS One, the British Medical Journal, and the Lancet.
Previously, Naimer served as deputy counsel at the Independent Inquiry Committee into the United Nations Oil-For-Food Programme (“the Volcker Commission”), where she investigated widespread corruption among the most senior UN personnel and Security Council member states. Prior to that, she worked for the Office of the President at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, where she researched cases of mass atrocities in the Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda.
Naimer was an associate at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP in New York, and has worked on cases of violence against women at the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic in Toronto, Canada and at the New York Asian Women’s Center.
A Canadian lawyer, Naimer holds a BA from McGill University, an MA in international relations from the University of Toronto, a JD from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, and an LLM in international legal studies from New York University School of Law. She is a Truman National Security Fellow. She is proficient in French.