The Local Government Commission Team

Kate Wright

Executive Director
(916) 448-1198 x305

Kate Wright is the Executive Director of the Local Government Commission (LGC)— a nationally recognized nonprofit connecting local leaders, implementing innovative solutions and advancing smart-growth policies.

Founded in 1980, LGC has over 700 members, 40 staff and 90 CivicSpark Fellows working on smart growth initiatives throughout the state and the Nation.

Kate is a Senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum and has been recognized for her climate-change work by the Chronicle of Philanthropy as one of the nation’s “40 under 40 Young Leaders Who Are Solving the Problems of Today – and Tomorrow”.

Kate launched many of LGC’s pioneering programs including:

  • CivicSpark a Governor’s Initiative AmeriCorps program which places 90 fellows per year in communities across California to address climate change and water management issues.
  • The California Adaptation Forum—a biennial event attracting over 800 people.
  • The Alliance of Regional Collaboratives for Climate Adaptation— a peer network of regional collaboratives across California working to advance resiliency initiatives and the Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative advancing adaptation in the Sacramento region.
  • The Statewide Energy Efficiency Collaborative a partnership with the Institute for Local Government, ICLEI and California’s four Investor-Owned Utilities which provides no cost support to help cities and counties reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save energy.

Kate is a regular presenter at national, state and regional events; she has been asked to provide expert testimony at legislative and council hearings; has authored guidebooks, fact sheets, newsletters and blogs; and has been featured in podcasts, radio shows and documentaries.

Prior to joining Local Government Commission in 2006, Wright conducted research for the UC Davis Department of Environmental Science and Policy, Transportation Alternatives of Marin, 4-H Center for Youth Development, and the University of California Cooperative Extension. She earned a M.S. degree in community and regional development from UC Davis, and received a bachelor’s degree in sociology from CSU-Sonoma.


Meis, Kate. Fiscal Impact Tools Change Local Planning, Government Finance Review, December 2013.

Handy, Susan L., Barbara McCann, Linda Bailey, Michelle Ernst, Lanier McRee, Emily Meharg, Reid Ewing, Kate (Wright) Meis. The Regional Response to Federal Funding for Bicycle and Pedestrian Projects. Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis, Research Report UCD-ITS-RR-09-15. 2009.


Kate Wright is a regular contributor to Infinite Earth Radio, a podcast for local leaders committed to building a smarter, more sustainable, resilient, and equitable future.

Livable Places Update *

Select articles from LGC’s monthly member newsletter distributed to over 700 local policymakers