Kathleen M. Sullivan, photo by Ryuji Suzuki

I’m an evaluator and strategist who has worked throughout my career to make laws and policies more fair, equitable, and inclusive.

Shortly after law school, I defended low-income workers and refugees against the US government’s efforts to deport them. Helping my clients to remain safely in their communities was a great privilege. But I was angry about the many thousands denied protection each year because of unfair or inadequate laws.

When I was hired to do advocacy for a refugee rights organization in Washington DC, I was excited to work against the systemic injustices I had seen in the courtroom. In the following years, I supported activists promoting the human rights of families fleeing natural disasters, immigrant children seeking asylum from gang violence, and prisoners subjected to “national security” detention and torture. I served as immigration counsel to Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, helping develop legislation that enables domestic violence survivors to live and work in safety. Along the way, I learned a great deal about what makes for successful policy-advocacy projects and effective advocacy organizations.

I founded Fine Gauge Strategy in 2010 to focus on helping leading advocates, organizers, and funders to improve their policy-advocacy strategies and operations. I thrive on “getting under the hood” with evaluation and research tools to help clients identify what is working well, what needs adjustment, and how to assess these things over time to promote success.

Fine Gauge Strategy also lets me be a “connector,” which is a role that I really enjoy. Because I’ve worked in many corners of the policy-advocacy world, I connect clients to experts, resources, and ideas that they might not readily identify on their own.

I have an AB in history from Brown University, and a JD from Columbia University School of Law, where I was a member of the Human Rights Law Review. I benefit every day from my talented friends in the policy-advocacy world, and from my creative and knowledgeable colleagues in the American Evaluation Association.

When I’m not working with a client or catching up on what’s new in policy and politics, I’m skiing or hiking, reading history and current events, or enjoying the Boston area’s remarkable art and music scenes.