On January 20, 2021, Kamala Harris made history as the first woman, first Black American, and first South Asian American to be sworn in as Vice President of the United States. That same day, Kate Childs Graham began her service as Vice President Harris’ first Director of Speechwriting.
During an historic and consequential year at the White House, Kate helped shape Administration messaging on issues ranging from racial justice and reproductive justice to COVID-19 and climate change. After that, Kate returned to West Wing Writers. As Senior Advisor at the firm, she helps leaders in politics and the arts craft messages and tell stories that move people to action.
A campaign and Capitol Hill veteran, Kate has played an integral role in the past two Democratic National Conventions. In 2020, she directed speechwriting and messaging operations for the groundbreaking virtual convention, which was heralded by the Washington Post as “award-worthy television."
Kate has served as communications director for US Senator Amy Klobuchar and as a senior advisor on the Senator’s presidential campaign, helping lead debate preparation and crafting speeches for the trail. During the 2016 presidential election, Kate also wrote speeches for principals and surrogates on the Clinton-Kaine campaign.
Her book, Why I Run: 35 Progressive Candidates Who Are Changing Politics, was released by ABRAMS in March 2019. Kate worked with candidates including Tammy Duckworth, Stacey Abrams, Andrew Gillum, and Pramila Jayapal to shape moving, heartfelt essays about why each ran for office. Hillary Clinton called the book “exactly the kind of inspiration we need.”
Previously, Kate served as director of communications and media affairs at the American Federation of Teachers, where she led a team of speechwriters and media affairs professionals for one of the nation’s largest teachers’ unions, and as senior speechwriter at the American Federation of State, Municipal, and County Employees.
Kate began her career writing and working in the progressive faith and reproductive health movements. For many years, she wrote a regular column for the National Catholic Reporter, and she has appeared on MSNBC and CNN.
Kate is a graduate of the Catholic University of America and the United Nations-mandated University for Peace. She is an associate of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana. And when she is not writing speeches, Kate can be found writing plays.
Kate lives in Takoma Park, Maryland, with her partner, Ariana, and their son.