Guest Bio

Kay Buck

CEO & Executive Director, Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking (CAST)

Fueled by her passion for justice, Kay has over 25 years of experience leading anti-trafficking initiatives in the United States and abroad. Joining the Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking (CAST) in 2003, Kay leads one of the longest-running anti-slavery organizations in the United States, serving thousands of survivors and their families with comprehensive care to rebuild their lives and impact systemic change to prevent human trafficking. Kay is responsible for opening the first shelter for trafficked women in the country and creating CAST’s one-of-a-kind survivor leadership program, which empowers and trains survivors to use their voices to inform public policy and social change, resulting in better laws to combat trafficking, a White House Strategic Action Plan, and National Survivor Network. Leading a team of experts on human trafficking, CAST was the first organization to receive the Presidential Award to Combat Slavery and Trafficking for their innovative programs serving survivors in 2014, when Secretary John Kerry said, “No one reaches survivors of human trafficking like CAST.”

Kay is an innovator and collaborator. Prior to CAST, Kay served California’s rape crisis and sexual assault prevention centers as the Director of the Rape Prevention Resource Center at California Coalition Against Sexual Assault, where she collaborated nationally to create the first College Campus Sexual Assault program. She also started the first CA Sexual Assault Response (SART) Team in the country with San Diego Police Department, and was responsible for the publication of the first California SART Manual. Understanding the link between local and global challenges, Kay spent more than 5 years working in Asia leading up to the United Nations Conference on Women in 1995, when human trafficking became a global spotlight for countries around the world.

Kay has a wealth of non-profit management, coalition-building, and private public partnership experience. She holds a Bachelor’s degree, and is a Senior Fellow at Marshall School of Business, Social Innovation Lab, University of Southern California, where she mentors young social entrepreneurs. Kay is a founding Board member of End Violence Against Women, Inc., a current Board member of QueensCare Charitable Foundation, and a Steering Committee member for VOCA funds at the CA Governor’s Office. Kay was recognized by the California Women’s Foundation as a Change Maker alongside Hillary Rodham Clinton, and named the #1 Los Angeles Visionary by C-Suite Quarterly in 2017. Kay is a recipient of the 2018 Ellis Island Medal of Honor. As a visionary leader, Kay has a deep commitment to partnerships to build innovative and sustainable social change. She believes that through partnerships and leadership, this generation of human trafficking survivors will be our last.

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