In the past five years, she has served as a consultant to Google, Facebook, the Knight Foundation, the Omidyar Network, and 100Kin10, among others. Kate also served as a consulting user researcher for the U.S. Digital Service within the Executive Office of President Barack Obama.
Kate currently serves as the Co-Director for the Make the Breast Pump Not Suck project, affiliated with the MIT Media Lab and supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. With her colleagues, she is working to catalyze an inclusive and intersectional movement in breastfeeding innovation. Simultaneously, Kate has been exploring a democracy moonshot: how we might get a representative 80% of eligible Americans voting by 2028, with support from the Democracy Fund.
Kate is best known for her applied research on how people use technology for civic purposes. Her seminal work focused on what motivates America’s “Interested Bystanders” to get involved with civic life. The study’s publicly available findings have been applied to product development at Google and shared through targeted briefings to foundations, non-profits, and social enterprises across the civic tech ecosystem. This work has been replicated in Charlotte, North Carolina by researchers at UNC Charlotte and Johnson C. Smith University, with the support of the Knight Foundation and Google.
As an organizational development strategist, Kate has over 15 years of facilitation, mediation, and conflict resolution experience. She has led organizational development processes with the Corporation for National & Community Service, Artsy, Etsy, Merck for Mothers, and several major global companies, among others. Prior to her graduate education, Kate built a career in problem-solving justice and mediation. Working with the Center for Court Innovation around New York City, she shepherded a multi-stakeholder task force on prison reentry in Harlem and developed meaningful community service initiatives for the Bronx Criminal Court. She also mediated over 150 conflicts through youth court and conflict resolution programs.
Kate is a graduate of Columbia University, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. She holds a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and an MBA from MIT’s Sloan School of Management. For the 2015-2018 academic years, Kate was a fellow and then an affiliate of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, at Harvard University.
She serves on the board of Democracy Works and is a proud alumna of the AmeriCorps National Service Program.
Kate lives with her husband David Sengeh and their daughters Nina and Pax in Freetown, Sierra Leone.