Kathryn Dean Kendell (“Kate”) ’88, has spent the majority of her legal career working tirelessly to achieve full justice and dignity for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people and their families. Kate’s initial focus upon graduation was to use her legal skills to ensure equal protection of the laws for all citizens. She engaged in private practice until called away by the siren call of public service, joining ACLU as it staff counsel. While there she litigated vigorously on behalf of all aspects of civil liberties, including reproductive rights, prisoners’ rights and free speech. Kate was the Alumna in Residence at the S.J. Quinney College of Law in 2006-2007.
Kate joined the National Center of Lesbian Rights as Legal Director in 1994 and, since 1996, as its Executive Director. Kate has worked vigorously her entire career to, as her mother stated, “take care of all the lesbians and gays in the world.”
Kate has been able to bring together disparate actors in the field and forge friendships “across the aisle.” She has excelled at finding common ground when it appeared there was none and did so with a genuineness that was palpable.
Kate subscribes to a quote from Benjamin Franklin that “Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.” Kate has dedicated her legal career to ensure justice for all. She epitomizes all that is good, just and noble in the law and as a legal professional. She has spent her life dedicated to a cause, making a difference, and doing it with grace and humility.