Katherine Otilia Zapata serves as the Deputy Director of DFER and ERN New York. Prior to this position she served as a Policy Advisor to Queens Borough President, Donovan Richards Jr. of Queens, New York, and the Government Relations fellow for the New York City Department of Emergency Management.
Kat is no stranger to the impactful work of DFER. She started off in DFER Colorado as the Social Media Operations Coordinator and has previously served as the National Research Manager for the larger entity as well as the Program Manager for Leaders of Color, New York. Throughout her various years, she committed herself to focus on local educational priorities like mental health and the pandemic's implications on students, as well as grassroots advocating alongside community leaders.
As an inner-city student, Katherine has allowed her own personal educational experiences to navigate her civic engagement passions across policy and community organizing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies and a Master's of Arts degree in Global Affairs from the University of Denver.
Kat was born and raised in Queens, New York City, and is a first-generation Latina, who enjoys traveling, following local politics, boxing, and watching documentaries.