Position: Co-Founder & Executive Director
For more than 20 years, Katharine has worked to enhance arts and education opportunities for low-income and minority youth. She has developed innovative programs in schools, housing projects, and detention facilities. Her artistic and educational work with youth has been highlighted in college textbooks, literary anthologies, magazines, and national newspapers, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Pod Save America, Harvard Educational Review, PRI’s The World, KQED, San Francisco Chronicle, and Fast Company.
Outside of her work with Immigrants Rising, Katharine serves on the board of the California Immigrant Policy Center (CIPC) and Horizons at San Francisco Friends School. She is also a member of UC President Janet Napolitano’s Advisory Group on Undocumented Students, the National Advisory Board of TheDream.US, and the Advisory Board of the Underground Scholars Initiative at UC Berkeley. From 2001 to 2014, she served as an advisor to the Nelson Fund at The Silicon Valley Community Foundation, where she oversaw the fund’s philanthropic investments in arts and education.
Katharine was born and raised in San Francisco, and received her BA from Yale University and MFA from the University of Oregon. She is the proud descendant of Chinese immigrants, who first came to the U.S. in the 1860s to work in the gold mines of California and later during the restrictive Chinese Exclusion Acts. She is also mother to Anna Dido Nordeson and partner to Kjell Nordeson.