Jennifer Podkul, senior program officer for the Migrant Rights and Justice Program, advocates for the protection of women, children and families seeking asylum in the United States. Prior to joining the Women’s Refugee Commission, Jennifer worked as an immigration attorney representing both detained and nondetained immigrants before the U.S. government along the US/Mexico border and in the Washington, D.C. area. She spent four years working at AYUDA providing legal representation to unaccompanied immigrant children first as an Equal Justice Works Fellow, then as a KIND Fellow. While at Ayuda she created and managed the first project designed to provide legal representation to trafficked children, and advocated for policies designed to protect vulnerable immigrant populations.
She has published articles and handbooks on issues related to immigration policies in the United States, and engaged international organizations such as the United Nations and the Organization of American States on human rights standards for vulnerable migrants.
In addition to her work in the United States, Jennifer has worked on issues affecting migrants in East Africa and Central America. She holds a B.A. in American Studies and Spanish from Franklin and Marshall College and a J.D. with honors from the Washington College of Law, American University, where she was a Public Interest/Public Service Scholar.