Kathleen ("Katie") McGinty is the ninth of ten children, all born and raised in northeast Philadelphia. Her father, John Patrick McGinty, was a Philadelphia police officer and her mother, Alma Berry McGinty, worked as a restaurant hostess.
Katie and her siblings went to Resurrection of Our Lord grade school. Katie went on to be the valedictorian of her graduating class at St. Hubert's High School. She earned a full scholarship and studied chemistry at St. Joseph's University. After earning top grades and honors, she was awarded a scholarship to study law at Columbia University. From there, Katie secured a judicial clerkship that took her to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C. and won the Congressional Fellowship of the American Chemical Society, an honor that enabled her to work on Capitol Hill in the office of then-Senator Al Gore. Katie went on to work on the reauthorization of the landmark Clean Air Act, and was asked to join the staff of Senator Gore, advising him on the various technological and environmental issues brought before the U.S. Senate.
In 1993, Katie was asked by the newly elected President of the United States, Bill Clinton, to serve first as his Deputy Assistant and then as the first woman Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality – an office that was established in 1969 as part of the first significant piece of national environmental legislation in the country. In this capacity, she worked to reconcile environmental and economic challenges, push forward entrepreneurial policies to combat climate change, rebuild dirty and abandoned properties, release more information concerning toxic pollution to affected communities and restore key ecosystems like the California Bay Delta and the Florida Everglades.
Understanding that developing countries were emerging as economic and geopolitical powerhouses, Katie and her husband, Karl Hausker, decided to live and work in India. Serving as a Senior Visiting Fellow at the Tata Energy Research Institute in New Delhi, Katie forged new ties between U.S. and Indian clean energy companies, as well as helped craft an environmental cooperation compact between the governments of the United States and India.
During the 2000 presidential campaign, Katie served as an adviser to Vice President Gore and as senior policy advisor to the Democratic National Committee.
Following the campaign, Katie developed investment vehicles that encouraged investment in clean technology, and joined Natsource LLC, a company involved in energy and environmental transactions. She served as Vice President for Asset Management at Natsource until 2003 when she was nominated by Governor Edward G. Rendell to become the first woman to lead the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
During her tenure, Katie spearheaded substantial cuts in toxic pollution like mercury and tailpipe emissions, while supporting creative new approaches to clean water that preserved open space and encouraged partnerships between farmers and municipal leaders. Katie championed the work of local citizens and community groups by fighting for a renewal of the successful Growing Greener program.
On every issue, Katie has worked not only to protect the environment, but also to create jobs. She charged her staff at DEP to see "environmental challenges as economic opportunities in disguise." Her efforts attracted leading clean energy companies to Pennsylvania, bringing a billion dollars in new investment and creating 3,000 new jobs in the state. Katie's innovative approach gained national and international attention, when the state's accomplishments were showcased across the country and around the globe, including in China, Germany, France and Spain. With the initiatives Katie spearheaded, Pennsylvania became a leader in wind energy and solar jobs, and a pioneer in energy efficiency technology and systems.
After DEP, Katie returned to the private sector, helping drive sustainable business development. She served as an Operating Partner of Element Partners, a clean technology private equity firm. She served on the board of directors at NRG Energy, Inc., the largest wholesale power company in the US and owner of extensive renewable energy assets, and Iberdrola USA, a gas and electric utility. She was a director at Thar Energy, a Pittsburgh-based geothermal energy startup.. At Weston Solutions, an environmental engineering company, she served as Senior Vice President and Managing Director of the Green Development Group, a role in which she focused on transit-oriented property redevelopment, energy efficiency, and clean water businesses.
Katie served as an expert on the shale gas advisory task force called for by President Obama and chartered by Department of Energy Secretary Chu, and she led the renewable energy and energy efficiency advisory board to the DOE.
Katie served as a Director on the Board of the World Resources Institute, a global nonprofit organization focused on sustainability, she was on the advisory board of the Scott Institute for Energy Innovation at Carnegie Mellon University, and formerly served as Secretary of the Board of Trustees at Saint Joseph's University.
During the 2014 election cycle, Katie ran for Governor of Pennsylvania where she received praise for demonstrating command of the issues and running a positive campaign. Following the primary election, Katie was asked by former rival and Democratic nominee Tom Wolf to chair Campaign for a Fresh Start, an organization that supported Democratic candidates for state office.
Following the General Election, Governor-elect Tom Wolf named Katie as his Chief of Staff. She is proud to have helped Governor Wolf expand Medicaid—offering good health coverage to 600,000 Pennsylvanians, while saving Pennsylvania taxpayers $500 million annually. She helped Governor Wolf deliver a budget that increases aid to education while offering the biggest ever property tax cut to Pennsylvania’s families and seniors.
Katie holds honorary Doctorate degrees from Clarion State University, Dickinson, and Muhlenberg colleges. She was named a "Global Leader for Tomorrow" by the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. She is the recipient of numerous awards including the "Business Leader of the Year" award of the Women's Network for a Sustainable Future; the "Woman of the Year Award" of the Women's Council on Energy and the Environment; the "All the Right Stuff" award of the Apollo Alliance, and the "Ansel Adams" award of the Wilderness Society.
Katie, Karl, and their three daughters reside in Wayne, Chester County, Pennsylvania.Contribute