Kathryn Hinsch has always been fascinated with
technology; she joined Microsoft in late 1986 because she saw the potential
for personal computing to change how we work and live. In 1997, after the announcement that a sheep had been successfully cloned, the ethical implications of biotechnology became her passion because
of its potential to change the way we think about being human and the nature of society.
Ms. Hinsch founded the Women’s Bioethics Project in June 2004 because
of her concern that the rapid advance of biotechnology is quickly
outpacing our ability as a society to absorb the affect it will have on
our lives. From stem cell research to the Schiavo case to the recent media frenzy around "Octomom," bioethics has
created a whole new world of issues and questions.
Ms. Hinsch was particularly driven to include women’s voices and life
experiences in debate and policymaking on bioethical issues because of how
directly women’s bodies and roles are touched by them. She believes that
women bring a vital perspective to all issues that affect society, and
therefore it is critical for their perspectives to be included in all
bioethical public policy and debate. To that end, the Women’s Bioethics
Project promotes the thoughtful application of biotechnology to improve
the status of women’s lives. It also seeks to protect vulnerable
populations by anticipating unintended consequences, safeguarding
women’s bodies from harm and ensuring that women’s life priorities are
Ms. Hinsch was employed by Microsoft Corporation for 12 years
prior to pursuing her passion for bioethics and its impact on women. There she held a broad array of positions: public relations, advertising, direct marketing, brand development and product marketing. Her product lines included systems software (Windows, NT, OS/2), enterprise and development tools (Lan Manager, SQL Server, Visual Studio, MSDN), hardware and new media. Her last position was as Senior Director of Worldwide Marketing for
Windows CE, the platform for a new generation of handheld devices. Before joining Microsoft, she sold computer hardware and software (back in the days where you had to build you own.) Prior to that she worked in a variety of public
policy and political positions including the staff of Governor John Spellman.
Ms. Hinsch has a B.A. in Political Economy from the Evergreen State
College, Olympia, Washington; an M.S. in Bioethics, as well as a certificate in clinical ethics, from Alden March Bioethics Institute, Albany Medical College, New York. Ms. Hinsch is an alumna of the Stanford Executive Program, an advisory board member of Science Progress, Center for American Progress, a member of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities and the Neuroethics Society. She was pursuing a Master of Divinity degree, with an emphasis on bioethics, at Harvard University before taking a leave to found the Women’s Bioethics Project. She currently serves as the project’s executive director and board president. She also holds faculty appointments in bioethics at the University of Washington and the Alden March Bioethics Institute at Albany Medical College.
Follow her on Twitter @khinsch or email khinsch(at) womensbioethics.org