Katrin Kinzelbach is associate director of the Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi) in Berlin. Her areas of interest are human rights, quiet diplomacy and how China's global influence tests the liberal international order. At SPP, she teaches the politics of human rights and directs the OSIRG summer school on rights and governance. Kinzelbach also serves on the German government’s Advisory Board for Civilian Crisis Prevention.
Kinzelbach started her career at the United Nations. From 2001-2007 she was a staff member of UNDP, with postings in headquarters and in the field. She has also worked for the UN's Refugee Agency and as an OSCE election observer. After the UN and prior to assuming her current role at GPPi, she worked for the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights in Vienna.
Kinzelbach received her PhD from the University of Vienna. Her dissertation on the human rights dialogue between China and the European Union won her the award "Deutscher Studienpreis" of the Körber Foundation, which honors outstanding research with particular value to society at large. She also published a monograph on the same topic that was listed by Foreign Affairs as one of the best books of 2016.
Kinzelbach’s current research focuses on academic freedom and on imprisoned human rights activists, specifically the conditions under which external pressure compels repressive states to approve early releases.