Information on Kathryne Bomberger (International Commission for missing Persons)
ICMP works with governments, civil society organizations, justice institutions, international organizations and others throughout the world to address the issue of people who have gone missing as a result of armed conflict, human rights abuses, disasters, organized crime and other causes. As the only international organization that is exclusively dedicated to this issue, ICMP is actively engaged in developing institutions and civil society capacity, promoting legislation, fostering social and political advocacy, and developing and providing technical expertise to locate and identify the missing. ICMP works with governments to develop their institutional capacity to address the issue of missing persons efficiently and impartially. ICMP helps governments develop legislation to safeguard the rights of families of the missing, and it works with civil society organizations to empower them to advocate for their rights. ICMP assists the process of justice by ensuring that governments adhere to a rule of law-based approach to investigating disappearances and it provides evidence in criminal trials.
ICMP directly assists governments with fieldwork. It has been involved in the excavation of more than 3,000 mass and clandestine gravesites and has spearheaded the application of advanced forensic techniques to locate and recover missing persons. ICMP maintains a unique, specialized Online Inquiry Center (OIC) and Identification Database Management System (iDMS) that manages all data pertaining to its missing persons process. It operates the world’s leading high-throughput DNA human identification facility. To date, more than 19,000 missing persons from around the world have been identified with ICMP’s assistance. ICMP also provides training and education programs to a wide-range of individuals, including: government authorities, prosecutors and judges, NGOs, families of the missing and forensic practitioners.
Kathryne Bomberger has worked in the field of international relations, human rights, politics and conflict prevention for the last 20 years. Since 1998, she has led the development of ICMP, which is today the world’s leading human rights and rule of law organization dedicated exclusively to helping governments address missing persons issues arising from war, human rights violations, migration, organized crime, natural disasters and other causes. She was appointed ICMP Director-General in 2004.
Since its creation in 1996, ICMP has been transformed from an ad hoc mechanism tasked with assisting countries emerging from the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia to a treaty-based international organization with global reach. Kathryne Bomberger has consistently sought to ensure that the global challenge of missing persons is addressed by governments as an urgent priority, in a manner that is modern, effective and based on the rule of law.
Ms Bomberger has worked in conflict and post-conflict areas as well as in areas affected by disasters and by organized crime (including the Western Balkans, Cyprus, Armenia, Iraq, Libya, Lebanon, Ukraine, Mexico, Colombia, Haiti, and the Philippines), helping governments, courts, prosecutors, NGOs, scientists, academics and others to build capacity to address the cross-cutting issue of missing persons, including through the development of effective institutions and legislation. She has spoken on the issue of missing persons at countless public forums, including the United Nations and the US Congress, and she has been interviewed by the BBC, the Guardian, the New York Times, the Financial Times, the Economist and many other media outlets, as well as participating in TV and film documentaries. Her numerous awards include recognition by the President of France as a Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur.
Before joining ICMP, Kathryne Bomberger worked for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the UN, and the US Senate. She has an undergraduate degree in History and a graduate degree in International Relations, with a focus on Middle East Studies, from the Elliot School of International Relations at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. She is an American national currently residing in The Hague, the Netherlands.