Kari Johnstone serves as Acting Director and Principal Deputy Director of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (J/TIP), where she has been Principal Deputy Director since 2014. In this role, she advises senior officials on U.S. Government policy and programming strategies to fight human trafficking around the world and oversees the production of the Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons Report.
In 2013 and 2014, Dr. Johnstone served as Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia and International Religious Freedom in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL). She was the Director and Deputy Director of the Office for International Religious Freedom between 2010 and 2014. In spring 2012, she served as Director for Russia and Central Asia at the National Security Staff of the White House. She previously worked as the Acting Office Director and Deputy Director of DRL’s Office for the Near East and South and Central Asian Affairs. Kari served as the election officer at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul in 2004 and as the human rights officer at the U.S. Embassy in Tashkent in 2003.
In 2001-2002, she was a Research Scholar at the Kennan Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
Dr. Johnstone is a career member of the Senior Executive Service and received a B.A. from the University of Michigan and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley, all in political science. She speaks Ukrainian and Russian, some Czech and Slovak, and a little Hungarian.