Colleen Kane is a program associate at the O’Neill Institute, where she provides comprehensive support to Dr. Tlaleng Mofokeng, distinguished lecturer at the institute and adjunct professor at Georgetown Law. In 2020, Dr. Mofokeng was appointed as the UN Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.
Prior to joining the O’Neill Institute, Kane worked as a policy and legal affairs associate at Nadia’s Initiative (NI). In her role, Kane advanced policy efforts aimed at advocating for survivors of the 2014 Yazidi genocide in Iraq and survivors of conflict-related sexual violence. She provided support to Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Nadia Murad, engaged with international attorneys and partner organizations, and enhanced the Initiative’s advocacy work to hold the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) accountable and seek justice for survivors.
Kane also worked at New York County Defender Services, a public defense law firm. As a corrections specialist, Kane advocated for individuals incarcerated on Rikers Island by initiating in-person meetings, addressing safety, medical, and mental health concerns, enhancing legal representation, and facilitating access to post-incarceration services. Kane also advanced charitable bail fund efforts, addressed Department of Correction concerns, and provided legal assistance to public defenders at the firm.
Kane received her Master’s degree in Human Rights and Democratization from the Global Campus of Human Rights and her B.A. in Social Justice from the State University of New York at New Paltz.