Before joining Tufts School of Engineering, Kathleen Fisher was a program manager at DARPA, where she started and managed the HACMS and PPAML programs; a consulting faculty member in the Computer Science Department at Stanford University, and a principal member of the technical staff at AT&T Labs Research. Fisher is an ACM Fellow. She is an associate editor for TOPLAS and a former editor of the Journal of Functional Programming. Fisher is a past chair of the ACM Special Interest Group in Programming Languages (SIGPLAN) and past co-chair of CRA's Committee on the Status of Women (CRA-W). She is a recipient of the SIGPLAN Distinguished Service Award, vice chair of DARPA's ISAT study group, and a member of the Board of Trustees of Harvey Mudd College.
Kathleen Fisher's research focuses on advancing the theory and practice of programming languages and on applying ideas from the programming language community to the problem of ad hoc data management. The main thrust of her work has been in domain-specific languages to facilitate programming with massive amounts of ad hoc data. Recently, she has been exploring synergies between machine learning and programming languages and studying how to apply advances in programming languages to the problem of building more secure systems.