About Kate Shirah, Founder and Principal
Kate Shirah brings 20+ years leadership to organizational, community and systems-change efforts focused on improving people’s lives, strengthening nonprofits and developing community assets. Her current role as a part-time executive director for a family foundation and her nonprofit board service ensures an approach grounded in real-world know-how. If you spend time with Kate, you’ll notice her guiding belief that relationships are core to building better, stronger organizations and communities.
Kate’s breadth of experience spans the philanthropic sector, local and state government, and higher education. She earned both her master’s in public health and her bachelor’s degree in health policy and administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Kate previously served for ten years as the program director for John Rex Endowment, a private foundation based in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Her commitment to others shapes Kate’s personal time too. Kate serves as the board president for the Exchange Family Center in Durham, North Carolina, making children’s lives better through strengthening their families and other adult caregivers. She is also a member of the Triangle’s Art of Giving women’s collective, building connections with and among women who care about giving forward and giving together. Finally, Kate is most relaxed when she’s in the sun, spending time with her dogs, or enjoying great conversation with her favorite people.
“I always learn something when Kate is at the table because her thoughtful queries provide useful insight and help advance discussions in really productive ways.”
Cyndi Soter O’Neil, ChildTrust Foundation