People of Long Now

Katherine Fulton

Co-chair of the Board of Directors

Katherine Fulton has spent her life making sense of the story of our time—learning from the past, adapting to the present and scouting the future. In her diverse roles as a journalist, teacher, leader and trusted advisor, she has always aspired both to understand and to be an agent of change who challenges assumptions with rigor and empathy.

In recent years, Katherine has become well known as an expert on the rapidly shifting terrain of philanthropy and impact investing, where private actors attempt to shape the public agenda and reshape capitalism. She has worked closely with many of this generation’s leading philanthropists, major foundations and rising social entrepreneurs, helping them make their aspirations braver and their actions wiser. She has also authored many publications on the future of philanthropy, served on numerous governing boards and given dozens of major speeches, including at Long Now and at TED.

Katherine’s work draws upon her own life experiences of change, healing and transformation. A native Virginian, she learned the importance of philanthropy and community service through the example of her family’s leadership. After graduating from Harvard with a degree in history and literature, Katherine began her career back in the South, where she covered politics for a major daily newspaper. Later she co-founded The North Carolina Independent, an award-winning investigative newspaper, which won her both a foundation prize for community service and a year of study as a Nieman Fellow at Harvard. After leaving journalism in the early 01990s, she taught at Duke University before moving to California to work side-by-side with leaders at Global Business Network (GBN). There she learned from world-class futurists, mastered the scenario planning toolkit and advised leaders in more than a dozen industries as they sought to adapt more skillfully to rapid change. As GBN merged twice (into Monitor Group and then Deloitte Consulting), Katherine spent more than a decade building a leading social sector consulting practice as president of Monitor Institute. This innovative social enterprise, hosted and supported by the parent firms, applies world-class consulting tools and talent to major social and environmental challenges. She recently retired from Monitor Institute to work independently.

Katherine lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her spouse, Katharine Kunst, where they have put down roots in the wine country. These days, she finds that nothing brings her more pleasure more than a great conversation. In the next phase of her life, she hopes to spark quite a few, helping leaders learn together across boundaries, borders and barriers, catalyzing ever more creative and effective social change strategies.

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