Wendy Patten

© Jeff Hutchens for the Open Society Foundations

Wendy Patten is a senior policy analyst at the Open Society Foundations engaging in advocacy on U.S. human rights and civil liberties issues. She works to influence the public policy debate around counter-terrorism and human rights, including detention, interrogation, rendition, and surveillance. She also monitors immigration policy with a focus on due process.

Previously, Patten was the U.S. advocacy director at Human Rights Watch where she handled legislative, policy, and media advocacy on human rights in the United States. Patten was also senior counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice where she focused on a wide range of criminal justice and immigration policy issues. She worked extensively on implementation of U.S. anti-trafficking laws and the Violence Against Women Act with federal, state, and local prosecutors, law enforcement, judges, and non-governmental organizations.

Patten also served as director of Multilateral and Humanitarian Affairs at the National Security Council at the White House. In that capacity, she handled refugee, migration, and human rights issues. 

Patten began her legal career as a Skadden Fellow and legal aid lawyer at Ayuda, where she represented immigrant and refugee women in domestic violence, family law, and immigration matters. She also worked on legal and judicial reform programs abroad at the American Bar Association’s Rule of Law Initiative.

Patten received her JD from Harvard Law School and a BA from Princeton University. She studied international relations in Strasbourg, France, and has taught international women’s human rights at Georgetown University.