Katie McGinty, 1989-90 Congressional Fellow in the US Senate (sponsored by the American Chemical Society), is running for governor of Pennsylvania. She faces an open field of seven other candidates seeking the Democratic nomination to challenge Republican Gov. Tom Corbett. Her training as the ninth of 10 children and as an S&T Policy Fellow may serve her well!
McGinty grew up in Philadelphia, the daughter of a police officer and a restaurant host. As high school valedictorian, she won a full scholarship to St. Joseph’s University where she became one of 12 women majoring in chemistry. Based on her continued academic success, she received a scholarship to study law at Columbia Law School.
Click to see McGinty’s creative “selfie” campaign ad | Katie McGinty
In 1989, the Fellowships program brought her to Capitol Hill as a fellow with then-Senator Al Gore for whom she continued to serve as legislative assistant until 1993. With a science and technology background, McGinty is passionate about the competitiveness of U.S. high-tech companies and she spent much of her fellowship year working to strengthen patent protections, manufacturing, and science education.
She was later tapped to become a key environmental advisor to President Bill Clinton, and the first woman to chair the White House Council on Environmental Quality from 1993 to 1998. There, she worked to reconcile environmental and economic challenges, supporting entrepreneurial policies to address climate change, provide more information about toxic pollution to affected communities, restore ecosystems including the Florida Everglades, and add new environmental protections to trade agreements.
Following her years in Washington, McGinty became the first woman to lead the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, and has held various posts in the private sector helping to drive sustainable business development.
“There is no greater joy than repeatedly proving that by protecting the environment, we drive good job creation — as compared to the bill of goods we have been sold for generations, that ‘if we dare protect our land, air and environment, we sacrifice our economy,’” she said in a recent Philadelphia Magazine interview.