Women at the Helm

Executive Director, National Center for Lesbian Rights

Kate Kendell, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), always wanted to be a lawyer. “I was inspired by a very cool social studies teacher in junior high and [by] a very supportive friend who encouraged me to go to law school even after I had thought my grades were not good enough.” Kendell initially worked in the corporate world prior to her transition to civil rights law. Once converted, she served as the first staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah before joining NCLR in 1994. Kendall explains her enthusiasm for her work this way: “Very inspiring people in my life instilled in me a sense of justice and fairness. A great deal of non- profit work is really dedicated to assisting those who do not have a voice or who are marginalized or disempowered.”