Alumni Changemakers: Katherine Pantangco
To honor our 40 years, we're celebrating our most valuable resource - our alumni - through 40 profiles highlighting their leadership. Alumna Katherine Pantangco completed the Junior Summer Institute at Princeton University in 2015.
Building Bridges that Create Solidarity
Katherine Pantangco embodies the values of service, empathy, and community. A daughter of Filipino immigrants, Katherine Pantangco graduated magna cum laude from the University of San Francisco with a B.A. in Sociology and a double minor in Philippine and Legal Studies. She was also awarded a PPIA fellowship at Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy at Princeton University.
Her various internships at the University of San Francisco, ACLU, and the White House built a strong foundation and helped guide her career journey which began at the ACLU of Northern California. She has served in multiple roles supporting the ACLU’s lobbying and advocacy efforts. Most notably, as a Program Coordinator, Katherine oversaw a team of immigrant rights field organizers who built deportation defense networks in the wake of the Trump administration.
"As a young woman and student of color, when I began my studies at JSI, I consistently doubted my presence at Princeton and regularly questioned whether I belonged. With the help of my cohort and caring professors who recognized me not just as a student, but for my whole self, I learned that my being at PPIA was not a mistake. I was exactly meant to be there and as a result set me on a trajectory and career devoted to public service."
From there, she went on to work for then-U.S. Senator Kamala Harris first as a Constituent Services Representative and then as the Deputy Director of Immigration Services. She assisted constituents through difficulties with the Department of Homeland Security, Department of State, and Department of Justice. In her later role, assumed leadership managing immigrant affairs for the former Senator’s office.
Currently, she is the Policy Advisor for the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs where she serves as a liaison between the White House and state and local leaders on immigration and other Administration priorities. Previously, she volunteered in Oakland, CA as a teacher at the American Center of Philippine Arts. Separately, she volunteered her time with the New Leaders Council as a Board Member for the San Francisco Chapter where she co-chaired the recruitment and selections process.
Katherine Pantangco is utilizing the power of relationships to assist those most in need. Effectively organizing people and information, she sees herself as a bridge to her community from Washington, D.C. Thank you, Katherine, for bringing diversity, equity, and inclusion to life. Through your coordination and commitment, you are helping to create a world where all feel welcome and at home.
Read more Changemaker profiles here!