Katharine Celentano is a Policy Coordinator with the New York Policy Office of the Drug Policy Alliance. Based in Ithaca, Katharine helps manage the development and implementation of municipal efforts to address drug use throughout Central and Western New York as well as statewide efforts regarding opiate overdose.
Katharine brings almost a decade of experience in political communication and campaigns, government and grassroots organizing. A coalition builder at heart, she has worked in diverse contexts—from neuroscience lab to Capitol Hill, lived in rural, suburban and urban areas of New York, Vermont and the Midwest and helped forge partnerships across party lines and life experience.
Prior to DPA, Katharine worked for the Law Enforcement Action Partnership, the New York State Psychiatric Institute, a governor’s office, the U.S. Senate and a presidential campaign, and she has led and advised national, local and campus campaigns regarding drug policy as well as mental health, veterans and academic pipeline issues. In 2013, Katharine was appointed to the Vermont Children and Family Council on Prevention Programs, and she was one of 125 leaders invited by SAMHSA to the National Leadership Summit on Youth Recovery. Katharine has also served on the board of Students for Sensible Drug Policy and the Young Professionals Board of the Washington Heights CORNER Project, and she has been invited to speak at conferences across the country.
A graduate of Columbia University, Katharine serves on the board of the Columbia Alumni Association. Katharine’s experiences as a former client of a residential psychiatric facility and losing loved ones to overdose, incarceration and trauma motivate her work.