Kathryn Chu received her undergraduate degree at Stanford University. She graduated from the University of California-San Francisco School of Medicine where she also completed her general surgery residency. She was a colorectal fellow at the Lahey Clinic then joined the faculty at Johns Hopkins Medical Institution as a colorectal surgeon. In 2007, she left academic practice to join Medecins Sans Frontieres as a surgeon and advisor where she worked for 4 years. She currently serves on the board of directors of MSF-Southern Africa. From 2012-4 she worked for Harvard Medical School in Rwanda training surgeons under the Human Resources for Health Program. Since 2014 she has worked in South Africa and is an associate professor at the University of Cape Town. Her research interests are in global surgery, in particular surgical delivery during humanitarian disasters and equitable access to surgical care.