Kate is a journalist and media entrepreneur, whose instincts for powerful storytelling have led her from presidential campaign trails to the flooded streets of post-Katrina New Orleans to the true meaning of funk and the legacy of James Brown. She won Emmys for two post-9/11 CNN documentaries and was nominated for a film about the 2004 Howard Dean campaign and the rising power of the Netroots.
In 2013, she launched Tarbell Industries to celebrate the Progressive Era's muckraking journalists -- and to create a network for our own era's investigative journalists and progressive crusaders. Currently, Tarbell hosts dinner salons that connect influential voices from media and politics. In the spring of 2015, Tarbell was selected as part of a Fellowship at the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism.
As a journalist, Kate spent eight years as a documentary filmmaker at CNN, as well as at VICE under the creative direction of filmmaker Spike Jonze. She also served as a consulting producer on “Law and Disorder,” a Frontline/ProPublica documentary about police shootings in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. She then launched two political talk shows at MSNBC: "The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell" and "Up with Chris Hayes," where she led the editorial teams as senior producer.
Kate entered politics in 2007 as the New Media Director of Video for Barack Obama's presidential campaign. By the end of the campaign, her team had produced over 2,000 videos, which ranged from thirty-second spots to twenty-minute documentaries. According to TechPresident, total viewing time outpaced Republican nominee John McCain’s videos by a ratio of 30:1. Kate continued into the Administration as Content Lead for the Presidential Transition Team’s website, Change.gov, and as a consultant to the White House Office of Health Reform and HHS.
In 2014, she jumped into the New York gubernatorial campaign as a media strategist for the Zephyr Teachout and Tim Wu campaigns for Governor and Lt. Governor in New York. Although both professors entered the race with little name recognition, institutional support, money or time, the campaign captured the imagination of New York-based and national political observers. Teachout and Wu wildly exceeded expectations -- winning nearly half of New York's counties and being declared "The New New Left" by POLITICO 50 (Ideas Changing Politics) -- despite being outspent by incumbent Governor Andrew Cuomo forty times over.
In 2015, she served as deputy campaign manager for the Ready for Warren presidential draft campaign and began developing Electifi, a tech platform that aims to hold elected officials accountable to voters.
Most recently, she's been in production on a documentary about corruption in New York politics, and served as a strategic advisor to Rural Organizing.org. Her current passion is regenerative agriculture, and the idea that carbon-rich soil can save the world.
In her spare time, she enjoys soothing her two year old's fears about the "nightmare train" in the film version of The Little Engine That Could, impressing her four year old with legit-looking cartwheels, and deconstructing misogynistic messages in classic 1980s movies with her thirteen year-old.
Founder and CEO, Tarbell Industries