Women's History Month 2015: Kristin A. Fleschner
A native of Terre Haute, IN, Kristin Fleschner has worked on Gender, Peace, and Security issues for the federal government since 2008. Fleschner recently joined the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor as a Foreign Affairs Officer covering human rights issues. She is a 2014 graduate of Harvard Law School and a 2004 graduate of Vanderbilt University, where she graduated summa cum laude with degrees in anthropology and human and organization development. She was the 2004 Vanderbilt University Michael B. Keegan Traveling Fellow, which enabled her to travel to Southern and Eastern Africa to study sexual violence against women and children. Those experiences deepened her interest in international relations and gender issues. Before joining the federal government in 2008, she worked for the Polaris Project, Younger Women's Task Force, Population Services International, and former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi.
Fleschner started experiencing vision loss in 2008 after an organ transplant and is a strong advocate for the rights of people with disabilities. She has served on U.S. Government interagency working groups on disability issues since 2010 and in 2014 she was awarded one of Harvard Law School’s Leadership Awards for her work on disability issues. She was the 2013 National Federation of the Blind’s National Scholarship winner, which recognized her scholarship and advocacy work. In 2013 she directed a documentary, "Blind Ambition," (https://vimeo.com/69119995) about her experiences and those of other Harvard Law students who are blind or visually impaired. Kristin completed the 2014 Boston Marathon with a professional running guide. Pictured is Fleschner with her Seeing Eye Dog, Zoe.