Kate Graham

Kate Graham researches, writes, speaks, and teaches about politics in Canada's cities. At this point, it's bordering on obsession.

Kate is completing a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Political Science Department at Western University in London, Ontario (defense: September 2018). Kate’s areas of focus include local government, urban politics, public policy and city competitiveness. Kate’s PhD dissertation, Leading Canada’s Cities: A Study of Urban Mayors (affectionately known as “The Mayors Project”), examines the political leadership of Canada’s cities, specifically focused on the role and power of mayors. Her supervisor is Dr. Andrew Sancton, one of the leading local government scholars in Canada. Kate holds a Masters of Public Administration (MPA) from Western University’s Local Government Program.

Kate has spent most of her professional life working in local government. Most recently she served as the Director, Community & Economic Innovation at the City of London where she was responsible for the City’s government relations, strategic initiatives, culture and economic partnerships portfolios. Her proudest accomplishments include leading London's Community Diversity and Inclusion Strategy, working with partners to create the London Music Office, and securing funding for numerous major city-building projects. Kate has worked with four mayors and dozens of elected officials during her nearly 10 years working in local government.

Kate is an active community member and volunteer. She served as the Chair of the Pillar Nonprofit Network Board of Directors, proudly supporting the launch of Innovation Works and VERGE Capital; served on the Executive of the ReForest London Board of Directors, which launched the Million Tree Challenge; and, as a volunteer for numerous community organizations. She was named on of London’s Top 20 Under 40 by Business London Magazine in 2015. Kate has also dabbled in politics herself, including running as a candidate in the 2018 provincial election in Ontario.

Kate now teaches at King's University College, Western University, and for a variety of local government organizations. She is a Fellow at the Centre for Urban Policy and Local Governance at Western University, and works with people and organizations who share her passion for strengthening the leadership of Canada's cities.

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