Person

Kathleen Welch

Occupation:

Principal, Corridor Partners

Former Executive Director, Equal Justice Works

Former Staffer, Pew Charitable Trusts

Nationality:

American

Kathleen Welch is a principal at Corridor Partners, a left-of-center political advocacy and strategy investment firm that focuses on energy and environment issues.

A 2013 HuffPost article described Welch as “a highly influential figure in Democratic fundraising circles, playing a central role in steering money to environmental and climate coalitions.” In the same piece, Welch is said to have been a “key player in Clean Energy Works, a massive green coalition that blew through tens of millions of dollars in a failed attempt to push climate change legislation.” [1]

According to the leaked emails of Democratic political operative John Podesta, Welch consulted with Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign on climate issues. [2]

Personal Life

Kathleen Welch graduated with honors from St. Lawrence University in 1981 and also attended the University of Buffalo Law School. [3] She serves on the board of trustees of St. Lawrence University. [4]

Welch lives in Washington, D.C., with her wife, Shelley Hearne. [5] Welch and Hearne met while working at the Pew Charitable Trusts. [6] Hearne is a public health doctor and senior advisor of CityHealth,[7][8] a public health initiative sponsored by the de Beaumont Foundation and Kaiser Permanente. [9]

Professional Experience

Kathleen Welch is a principal at Corridor Partners, a for-profit firm that consults on political candidate contributions, independent expenditures, and issues campaigns. [10]

Welch also works at the Fund for a Better Future, a left-of-center grantmaking organization that sponsors lobbying and social welfare nonprofits in the United States. [11] She also works at the Shared Ascent Fund, an economic, racial, and gender justice nonprofit. [12]

Prior to joining Corridor Partners, Welch was deputy director of the environmental program at the Pew Charitable Trusts and deputy director of the Pew Environmental Group. [13]

Welch previously served as managing program counsel in the Office of Program Operations at the Legal Services Corporation,[14] a federal government-created and funded nonprofit which distributes federal money to regional nonprofits across the United States to provide legal aid to low-income individuals. Despite a founding obligation to remain politically neutral, the LSC has been accused of left-of-center political bias since its establishment, and President Donald Trump has called for its elimination. [15]

Welch was the director of the Environment and Climate Action Fund, a project of Tides Advocacy that supports advocacy related to climate change and other environmentalist policy agendas. [16]

Welch was on the steering committee of the October 2011 Change of Atmosphere Conference, sponsored by EcoAmerica, an environmentalist nonprofit whose goal is to train and educate potential environmentalist leaders. [17]

Welch was the executive director of Equal Justice Works, a left-progressive advocacy organization that focuses on careers for lawyers. Equal Justice Works was founded in 1986 as the National Association for Public Interest Law to train public interest lawyers and provide legal assistance to the poor and other marginalized communities. [18]

In 1995, Welch was awarded the Scales of Justice Award by Equal Justice Works, recognizing her commitment to public service and her passion for equal justice. [19] Past honorees include former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Supreme Court Associate Justice Elena Kagan. [20]

Board Memberships

Welch sits on the board of directors of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), one of the nation’s largest and most active environmentalist groups. Welch is also on the board of the Natural Resources Defense Council Action Fund, the NRDC’s political arm which supports environmentalist candidates and legislation, including the Green New Deal.

Welch serves on the board the League of Conservation Voters, an organization that promotes political candidates that support an environmentalist agenda. [21]

Welch also serves on the advisory council of the Brainerd Foundation, an environmentalist funding organization that is affiliated with the Environmental Grantmakers Association. [22]

Democracy Alliance

Welch is affiliated with Democracy Alliance, a network of highly influential funders within the Democratic Party and the political Left. In 2016, Welch co-sponsored a panel entitled “Climate Can Help Us Win in 2016,” at the Democracy Alliance Spring Investment Conference. Other sponsors included hedge-fund billionaire turned climate-change activist Tom Steyer, the Rockefeller Family Fund, and the Solidago Foundation. [23]

Political Donations

During the 2020 election cycle, Kathleen Welch has given thousands of dollars to Joe Biden for President and to various Democratic candidates for the U.S. Senate. [24] During the 2016 presidential election, Welch gave thousands to Hillary for America and the Hillary Victory Fund. [25]

Welch has also given to ActBlue, an online clearinghouse affiliated with the Democratic Party, and to Democracy Engine, a left-leaning fundraising platform that primarily caters to Democratic Party politicians. [26]

References

  1. Grim, Ryan and Lucia Graves. “OFA Refuses to Push on Keystone.” HuffPost. May 16, 2013. Accessed October 4, 2020. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/ofas-keystone-grassroots_n_3276622 ^
  2. Adragna, Anthony. “Morning Energy: Clinton’s innermost green money donors, more job request help for Podesta, Greens pour more money into Pennsylvania Senate race.” Politico. October 25, 2016. Accessed October 4, 2020. https://www.politico.com/tipsheets/morning-energy/2016/10/clintons-innermost-green-money-donors-217042 ^
  3. “Board of Trustees Elects New Members.” St. Lawrence University. Accessed October 4, 2020. https://www.stlawu.edu/news/board-trustees-elects-new-members ^
  4. “Board of Trustees Elects New Members.” St. Lawrence University. Accessed October 4, 2020. https://www.stlawu.edu/news/board-trustees-elects-new-members ^
  5. “Board of Trustees Elects New Members.” St. Lawrence University. Accessed October 4, 2020. https://www.stlawu.edu/news/board-trustees-elects-new-members ^
  6. “Shelly Hearne and Kathleen Welch.” The New York Times. June 26, 2009. Accessed October 4, 2020. https://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/28/fashion/weddings/28Hearne.html ^
  7. “Our People.” CityHealth. Accessed October 20, 2020. https://www.cityhealth.org/our-people. ^
  8. “Board of Trustees Elects New Members.” St. Lawrence University. Accessed October 4, 2020. https://www.stlawu.edu/news/board-trustees-elects-new-members ^
  9. “About CityHealth.” CityHealth. Accessed October 4, 2020. https://www.cityhealth.org/about  ^
  10. “Services.” Corridor Partners. Accessed October 4, 2020. https://www.corridorpartners.com/services/ ^
  11. “Home Page.” Fund for a Better Future. Accessed October 4, 2020. https://fundforabetterfuture.org/ ^
  12. “About Us.” Shared Ascent Fund. Accessed October 4, 2020. https://sharedascentfund.org/#About-Us ^
  13. “Pew’s Environment Program and the National Environmental Trust to Merge.” Pew Charitable Trusts. August 20, 2007. Accessed October 4, 2020. https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/reports/2007/08/20/pews-environment-program-and-the-national-environmental-trust-to-merge-summer-2007-trust-magazine-briefing ^
  14. “1997 Interim Grant Agreement To Recipient for Funds To Provide Civil Legal Services To Eligible Low-Income Clients in Blair County, Pennsylvania.” Federal Register Volume 62, Number 116. June 17, 1997. Accessed October 4, 2020. https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-1997-06-17/html/97-15733.htm ^
  15. Coyle, Marcia. “Legal Services Corp., Under Trump, Faces New Threat to Existence.” The National Law Journal. March 16, 2017. Accessed October 4, 2020. https://www.law.com/nationallawjournal/almID/1202781408335/Legal-Services-Corp-Under-Trump-Faces-New-Threat-to-Existence/?mcode=1383176848142&curindex=1&slreturn=20200904152727 ^
  16. “2011 Change of Atmosphere Conference Report. EcoAmerica. November 2011. https://ecoamerica.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/8_change_of_atmosphere_report.pdf ^
  17. “2011 Change of Atmosphere Conference Report. EcoAmerica. November 2011. Accessed October 4, 2020. https://ecoamerica.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/8_change_of_atmosphere_report.pdf ^
  18. “2004-2005 Law Catalog: Pro Bono Opportunities.” Hofstra University. Accessed October 4, 2020. https://bulletin.hofstra.edu/content.php?catoid=7&navoid=166 ^
  19. “The Scales of Justice: Past Honorees” Equal Justice Works. Accessed October 4, 2020. https://www.equaljusticeworks.org/annual-dinner/honorees/ ^
  20. “The Scales of Justice: Past Honorees” Equal Justice Works. Accessed October 4, 2020. https://www.equaljusticeworks.org/annual-dinner/honorees/ ^
  21. “Team.” Corridor Partners” Accessed October 4, 2020. https://www.corridorpartners.com/team/ ^
  22. “Team.” Corridor Partners” Accessed October 4, 2020.https://www.corridorpartners.com/team/ ^
  23. “Democracy Alliance Spring 2016 Conferece.” Democracy Alliance. April 2016. Accessed October 4, 2020. http://static.politico.com/64/47/b971249843558514c9c6aff87765/democracy-alliance-spring-meeting-agenda.pdf ^
  24. Federal Election Commission. “Individual Contributions: Kathleen Welch, Corridor Partners.” Accessed October 4, 2020. https://www.fec.gov/data/receipts/individual-contributions/?contributor_name=kathleen+welch&contributor_employer=Corridor ^
  25. Federal Election Commission. “Individual Contributions: Kathleen Welch, Corridor Partners.” Accessed October 4, 2020. https://www.fec.gov/data/receipts/individual-contributions/?contributor_name=kathleen+welch&contributor_employer=Corridor ^
  26. Federal Election Commission. “Individual Contributions: Kathleen Welch, Corridor Partners.” Accessed October 4, 2020. https://www.fec.gov/data/receipts/individual-contributions/?contributor_name=kathleen+welch&contributor_employer=Corridor ^
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