Kate is an attorney with a long and distinguished career. After finishing high school, she attended California State University, San Francisco, later transferring to the University of California, Berkeley, which reviewed Kate’s SAT scores and offered her academic and financial grants and scholarships to attend. She earned her way through college, working at the university library.
Following graduation from UC Berkeley, Kate joined the Peace Corps, teaching English and Commerce in the rural outback of Kenya. Successful in her first teaching experience, the Peace Corps recruited Kate to establish the teaching curriculum for the Peace Corps program for Secondary School English in Kenya.
After returning from East Africa, Kate was accepted and graduated with a juris doctorate degree from the Boalt Hall School of Law, UC Berkeley, spending her summers interning with law firms, most notably United States Senator Paul Laxalt’s law firm, Laxalt, Washington, Perito & Debuc, in Washington, DC.
Kate later applied and was accepted to the United States Department of Justice’s Honors program. Kate was assigned to the Department of Justice’s San Francisco field office, building and prosecuting cases involving criminal antitrust litigation, and later transferred to the Washington DC office.
In 1994, she received the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division’s Outstanding Contribution Award, and in 1997 she received public acknowledgement for her work in the Antitrust Division from then United States Assistant Attorney General of Antitrust Joel Klein.
In 1997, Nevada Attorney General Frankie Sue Del Papa asked Kate to move to Nevada to create Nevada’s Antitrust Unit. As Senior Deputy Attorney General and the creator of Nevada’s Antitrust Unit, Kate successfully streamlined and modernized Nevada’s antitrust statutes, facilitating greater access for all Nevadans. She also fostered the expansion of Nevada’s “Toys for Tots” program into rural Nevada.
In 2000, Kate became in-house counsel for ATG Inc., a private telecommunications firm serving small and medium size businesses in Northern Nevada. In 2001, she was chosen by ATG to be an honoree in the Nevada Women’s Fund, Women of Achievement event.
Before making the decision to run for elected office, Kate ran her own successful law practice, specializing in consumer protection, telecommunications law, and competitive market analysis. She was first elected State Treasurer in 2006 and re-elected to second term in 2010. She originally ran on a platform she called the “Marshall Plan,” which included seven main points she would emphasize during her tenure. The basic tenets were simple: Improve and implement programs that save taxpayer dollars; reduce spending by becoming more efficient; and identify innovative methods for increasing economic development in our state. By the conclusion of her first term, six of these covenants had been met, with the seventh being achieved with the creation of the state’s first private equity investment fund during the 2011 Legislative Session.
During her terms in office she was also focused on increasing financial literacy across the State. Using a three-prong approach, she began providing financial education materials to Nevada K-12 schools; hosting Nevada Women’s Money conferences, which in two years have been attended by more than 1,500 women from across the State; and creating a financial fitness website for use by parents, teachers, and students. For her efforts in this area, Kate received the 2013 “Organization of the Year – Government” award from the Institute for Financial Literacy.
Kate and her husband, Dr. Elliott Parker, a Professor of Economics at the University of Nevada, Reno, live in Reno with Kate’s daughters, Anna and Molly. She and her husband are regular co-contributors to various media outlets. Kate chairs Emerge's Board Governance Committee.