About Us / Center for Effective Government Staff: Katherine McFate
Katherine McFate: President and CEO
Katherine McFate is the President and CEO of the Center for Effective Government, a nonpartisan policy and advocacy organization whose mission is to build an open accountable government that invests in the common good and advances the priorities of an active, informed citizenry. Among its efforts, the Center for Effective Government seeks to ensure that state and federal governments require meaningful disclosure of the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing (or natural gas "fracking"), supports long-term investments in public infrastructure and services, and advocates for commonsense public protections.
McFate assumed leadership of the 30-year-old research and advocacy organization (then named OMB Watch) in July 2011. After a strategic planning process with staff and board, the organization revised its mission and changed its name. Its organizational objectives are: to improve public understanding of the vital role of government and how it works; to ensure our regulatory system has the resources and authority required to protect national health and well-being; to advocate for open government reforms; and to sustain investments in the public structures that undergird the American quality of life. The Center conducts research and policy analysis, develops policy proposals and tools to encourage citizen engagement, and builds strategic partnerships and broad-based coalitions.
At the Ford Foundation, McFate led a grantmaking program on Transparent, Effective and Accountable Government that supported efforts to make government more accountable to the needs and priorities of ordinary people. At her previous job at the Rockefeller Foundation, she directed a research and policy program to strengthen the economic resiliency of American workers in the face of globalization and outsourcing. In both philanthropic positions, she supported networks of state and local organizations working to promote a more equitable, inclusive, and democratic America. With substantive expertise in social policy and strategic communications, McFate directed social policy programs for the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, authored numerous reports on income support, employment, and criminal justice policies in the U.S., and co-authored Poverty, Inequality and the Future of Social Policy with William Julius Wilson and Roger Lawson.
McFate has graduate degrees from Yale University and serves on the boards of the Gamaliel organizing network, Public Works, the Center for Economic and Policy Research, the Coalition on Human Needs, and V-Day.