Director of Programs & Initiatives
Kathryn Snyder (they/she) is a Black, queer, gender nonconforming, radical, abolitionist, lawyer, and ardent advocate for the dismantling of mass incarceration. Prior to joining WDN as the Director of Programs and Initiatives, Kathryn was a Senior Program Officer for the Libra Foundation, co-directing their national Criminal Justice and Social Policy grantmaking portfolio. Before joining Libra, Kathryn served close to eight years as a Senior Advisor at Tides Advocacy, providing financial, programmatic, and legal support to Tides’ 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) criminal justice-focused clients, a range of grantmaking advisory services, trainings for colleagues and clients on laws surrounding legislative and electoral advocacy, and innovative programming for donors and advocates.
To Tides, Kathryn brought years of legal experience as a staff attorney, associate, and law clerk at firms in both San Diego and San Francisco, including time at the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office under Vice-President Kamala Harris. Kathryn was also a 2018 Criminal Justice Fellow at the Dr. Beatriz María Solís Policy Institute (SPI) where they worked to pass California State Senate criminal justice reform bills SB 1393 (Mitchell) and SB 136 (Wiener).
Kathryn brings passion to their pro bono work as well, focusing on trauma-informed, healing-centered legal counseling with incarcerated individuals and their families, and serving as a mentor and advocate for foster youth through Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA). Kathryn was Chair of the California Criminal Justice Funders Group and Board Member for the San Francisco LGBT Center.
Kathryn is a member of the California State Bar, and holds a Juris Doctor from University of San Diego School of Law as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, a Bachelor of Science in Human Development, and a Minor in Communication from University of California, Davis. With their partner, Shayna (they/she), they have two children: Zuri (she/they) and Asani (they/them).