The Global Initiative Network

GIN Member

Kathi Lynn Austin

Executive Director, Conflict Awareness Project

Kathi Lynn Austin is a former United Nations arms trafficking expert and current founder and executive director of the Conflict Awareness Project, a non-governmental organization dedicated to investigating, documenting and bringing to justice major arms traffickers, war profiteering networks, and transnational criminal operations that fuel conflict, human rights abuses, pillage and environmental crime around the world. Her most recent investigations include: “Follow The Guns: An Overlooked Key to Combatting Rhino Poaching and Wildlife Crime” and “The Pillage of Eastern Congo Gold: A Case for the Prosecution of Corporate War Crimes.”

With over 30 years of experience, Ms. Austin has carried out precedent-setting field investigations spanning Africa, Latin America, East and Central Europe and South Asia. Her work has been featured on major media worldwide, including the New York Times, CNN, NPR, BBC, and Al Jazeera. Her award-winning documentaries include “Follow The Guns” (2018); “Killing Tradition: The Arming of Africa” (2002); “Forsaken Cries: The Story of Rwanda” (1997); and “Africa: Environmental Degradation, Human Deprivation” (1994). In 2012, she featured in a “A Short Film About Guns” (winner, 2013 Tribeca Film Festival). In 2011, she was named Arms Control Association “Person of the Year.”

Besides serving as an expert for the UN Security Council and UN peacekeeping operations in Liberia, DRC, Burundi and Timor-Leste, Ms. Austin has also been a lead investigator and expert consultant for a broad array of multi-lateral institutions and non-governmental organizations such as Human Rights Watch, the International Crisis Group, the Fund For Peace, and the Open Society Justice Initiative, where she currently serves as a Senior Advisor for the Anti-Corruption Program.

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