Catherine Hazelton '99

Catherine Hazelton

Location: California
Major(s) and Minor(s): History
Thesis title and/or topic/description: “Inclusion Then and NOW: The Roles of Women of Color and Lesbians in the National Organization for Women”

What have you done since graduation?

Catherine Hazelton has served as a Senior Program Officer in the California Democracy program at the James Irvine Foundation since 2009. At Irvine, Catherine developed the Future of California Elections project and several elements of Irvine’s redistricting grantmaking. She also oversees grants related to governance reform issues and public media coverage of state governance and policy. Additionally, she manages the James Irvine Foundation Leadership Awards.

Before joining Irvine, Catherine worked with California law enforcement leaders to advocate for public investments in early education programs as Associate Director of the nonprofit Fight Crime: Invest in Kids. Previously, she served as a Senior Legislative Aide to Assemblywoman Carol Liu and a legislative aide and field representative to Assemblyman Jack Scott. Catherine has worked on numerous political campaigns including, most recently, Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Catherine has served on several nonprofit boards, including the California National Organization for Women and Help A Mother Out, an organization that provides free diapers to families in need. She was recently appointed by Assembly Speaker John Pérez to serve on the state’s Physician Assistant Board.

Catherine completed her master’s degree in public policy at the University of California, Berkeley, and earned her bachelor’s degree in history at Scripps College. She also attended Pasadena City College where she trained hundreds of students in grassroots advocacy and lobbying. Her research related to redistricting reform and women in California politics has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, Policy Matters and other publications.

How do you think majoring in history or taking history classes has mattered to you?

One of the skills that has served me best in politics and strategic philanthropy is understanding how to identify and apply context. In order to make effective decisions in highly nuanced fields like these, it is essential to understand the historical and contemporary context of various demographic groups, individuals, organizations and movements. As a Scripps history major, I learned to identify such context and, further, cultivated exacting analytical skills that serve me on a daily basis.

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