Katherine McFate

President, Center for Effective Government

Katherine McFate became the President and CEO of the Center for Effective Government (formerly OMB Watch) in July 2011. Before taking the helm at the Center for Effective Government, she was a Program Officer at the Ford Foundation, where she developed and led a grantmaking program on Transparent, Effective and Accountable Government. In this capacity, she supported efforts in the U.S. and globally to create new standards, rules, and practices to make government more open and accountable to the needs and priorities of ordinary people and bring excluded and disenfranchised communities into the political process.

Previously, as a Deputy Director of domestic programs at the Rockefeller Foundation, Katherine directed a research and policy program to strengthen the economic resiliency of American workers in the face of globalization, outsourcing, and the contracting out of public services. In this capacity, and at the Ford Foundation, she supported networks of state and local organizations across the country working to promote a more equitable, inclusive, democratic America. Throughout her work, she has been involved in communications initiatives to understand public attitudes toward government and increase public understanding of and support for the public sector. She has extensive experience with survey research and strategic communications.

Prior to her career in philanthropy, Katherine directed social policy programs for the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, authoring a number of reports on U.S. welfare, urban, and employment policies, as well as editing a comparative policy book, Poverty, Inequality and the Future of Social Policy: Western States in the New World Order. Before coming to Washington, she lectured at Yale University where she took her graduate degrees and was a Special Advisor to the City of New Haven on their youth employment programs and anti-poverty policies. She grew up in Columbia, Missouri.