About Kate

My work as a community activist has taught me the importance of neighborhoods.
My career as a writer has taught me the value of listening.

CHILDHOOD
I grew up in a vibrant South Philadelphia neighborhood. My father was a delivery truck driver and a Teamster. My mother volunteered at church. Public libraries were my second home. Public transit opened new vistas.

EDUCATION
I am a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania (B.A. in English Honors, magna cum laude) and Columbia University (M.F.A. in Writing).

CAREER
As a professional writer for decades, I have sought to transform lives and serve people in need by sharing stories that matter.

  • Science Writer, National Institutes of Health:  I turned medical research findings into news stories to help scientists promote healthy lifestyles and give new hope to patients and their families.
  • San Diego Bureau Chief, United Press International:  Journalists safeguard the public interest by pursuing facts and speaking truth to power. I covered all aspects of life in San Diego: government, politics, business, education, the military, arts and culture, the environment.
  • Executive Speechwriter, University of California:  A speechwriter’s job is to connect leaders to audiences. The first step is learning what the audience cares about and understanding how the leader might help them achieve their aspirations.
  • Philanthropy Writer, the National Conflict Resolution Center:
    Strategic nonprofits raise private support by treating donors as investors who deserve to know that their funds are spent wisely to attain measurable results.  [Imagine if City Hall treated taxpayers as investors…]
  • Community Activist:
    I am a second-generation North Park activist, following in my mother’s footsteps. I co-founded the SoNo Neighborhood Alliance, and I serve on the North Park Planning Committee. I am deeply committed to keeping neighborhoods safe, stable, and strong for everyone.
  • Distance Runner:
    I began running competitively in the early 1980s. I have completed seven marathons and countless half-marathons. I enjoy covering long distances at a steady pace with resolve and endurance.
San Diego Investigative Report Kate Callen