Catherine Powell

Catherine Powell is an adjunct senior fellow in the Women and Foreign Policy program at the Council on Foreign Relations and a professor at Fordham University School of Law, where she teaches constitutional law, civil rights and civil liberties in a digital age, human rights, and comparative constitutional law. Her prior experience includes stints in former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's policy planning office and in the White House National Security Council as director for human rights in the Barack Obama administration. Previously, Powell was founding director of the Human Rights Institute and the Human Rights Clinic at Columbia Law School, where she was on the faculty as a clinical professor.

Powell currently sits on the American Journal of International Law (AJIL) board of editors and the American Society of International Law Executive Council. In addition to formerly serving on the Human Rights Watch board, she has been a consultant on national security and human rights matters for the Center for American Progress and the American Constitution Society as well as a visiting professor at Georgetown University Law Center (between 2012 and 2013) and Columbia Law School (spring 2007 and fall 2016).


The Color of COVID After Biden's First 100 Days

A stronger economy can be achieved by placing women, especially women of color, at the center of legislative framework


The Color and Gender of COVID: Essential Workers, Not Disposable People

Women of color sit at the intersection of race and gender disparities—they should be at the center of policy solutions


Quarantined: Federalism in Action at Home and Abroad

Lessons from around the world on how national and subnational governments can cooperate in response to COVID-19