Combining her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in international relations and counseling, Kathi Anderson serves as the executive director and co-founder of Survivors of Torture, International (SURVIVORS). Out of humble beginnings, she launched the nonprofit program in her home in 1997. The mission was and continues to be: To facilitate the healing of torture survivors and their families; educate professionals and the public about torture and its consequences, and to advocate for the abolition of torture.
Kathi earned a B.A. in International Relations from the University of the Pacific and an M.A. in Counseling from San Jose State University. Previous professional activities include experience as a licensed professional counselor in private practice, evaluator at Grossmont Hospital, an adjunct faculty member in the College of Idaho’s Graduate Program, director of Elks Hospital’s Occupational and Rehabilitation Department and refugee resettlement caseworker for the International Rescue Committee.
Kathi is the elected North American representative and executive committee member of the Denmark-based International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims; co-founder and executive committee member of the National Consortium of Torture Treatment Programs; and the vice-chair of the State Advisory Council to the Refugee Programs Bureau. As a volunteer, she currently serves on the advisory boards of the University of the Pacific’s School of International Studies, San Diego State University’s School of Social Work, and the Barbara Chester Award Committee of the Hopi Foundation.
Kathi has been recognized for her community work with numerous awards, including the 2016 Real Heroes, Wendell Cutting Humanitarian Award, from American Red Cross of San Diego and the 2015 California Hero Award from the California State Senate.