Kate C. Farrar, Executive Director
Kate C. Farrar brings over 15 years of nonprofit management and women's issue expertise to her role as Executive Director of the Connecticut Women's Education and Legal Fund (CWEALF).
Prior to CWEALF, Kate was the Vice President of the American Association of University Women (AAUW)'s Campus Leadership Programs in Washington, D.C. where she guided the strategy and management of the organization's nationwide college women's leadership programs, college/university relationships, and science, technology, engineering, and math programs for girls. In D.C. Kate also served as the associate director of National Programs and Policy at Wider Opportunities for Women where she led the Family Economic Self-Sufficiency Project (FESS), a nationwide project focused on policies and programs to move low-income families toward economic independence.
To begin her career, Kate lobbied the Connecticut state legislature on behalf of nonprofit organizations and served as a field organizer in Wisconsin for the 2004 presidential campaign.
A lifelong advocate of women's representation in politics, Farrar served as President of the Women Under Forty Political Action Committee, the only nonpartisan PAC in the country that supports young women running for office. She volunteers as a mentor for the UConn College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and as a committee member of the Aurora Foundation for Women and Girls. Kate earned a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Connecticut and a master's in public administration from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. She was honored in 2017 with the UConn Honors Alumni Award and Syracuse University Maxwell School Alumni Award.
Catherine Bailey, Deputy Director
In June 2013, Catherine Bailey joined CWEALF as the Legal and Public Policy Director and became Deputy Director in 2017. Her work includes overseeing the Legal Education Program, which seeks to fill the civil legal justice gap by providing women and low-income individuals with access to legal information, advocacy, and resources. She also spearheads CWEALF's policy agenda, which includes leading the Campaign for Paid Family Leave, the Family Law Working Group, and participating in the Campaign for a Working Connecticut and the Coalition for Choice.
After earning a B.A. from Boston College and a J.D. from Suffolk University Law School, Ms. Bailey held several positions in state government in Massachusetts, most recently as Deputy Legal Counsel to Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.
Ms. Bailey is a founding Board member of Autism Families CONNECTicut, a nonprofit organization that provides recreational programs to individuals with autism and their families. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Greater Hartford Legal Aid and as a member of the Connecticut Bar Association's Pro Bono Committee and the Women in the Law Section
Meg Dubois works with donors to fulfill their charitable aspirations through CWEALF’s mission to create an equitable society where women and girls thrive. Meg earned her MSW with a policy concentration in 2003 from the University of Connecticut. She has served as a field instructor for MSW students at CWEALF since 2015.
Marisa Feijóo, Research Associate
Marisa Feijóo began at CWEALF as a Research and Evaluation Intern in September 2016 after earning her BA in English and Fine Art from Saint Anselm College in Manchester, NH. Ms. Feijóo was hired in September 2017 as a Research Associate, assisting with the evaluation for the Hartford Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative and other research and evaluation needs for CWEALF.
Madeline Granato, Policy Manager
Maddie Granato began at CWEALF as an intern in June 2014 after earning a BA in psychology from Union College in Schenectady, NY. Ms. Granato was hired in January 2016 as a Policy Associate, assisting with the Campaign for Paid Family Leave and CWEALF’s other legislative priorities. Ms. Granato earned her Masters in Social Work with a concentration in Policy Practice in May 2016. She was a steering committee member of Young Women Rising.
Kathleen Maldonado, Community Advocacy Assistant
As part of CWEALF’s innovative She Leads Justice project, Kathleen Maldonado works to bridge the legal justice gap by providing critical access to bilingual (English and Spanish) legal services for low-income and marginalized women throughout Greater Hartford.
Kathleen is a resident of the Clay Arsenal District of Hartford, CT and exercises her love for the community that birthed her through service. She is a youth Development Specialist for Hartford Public School's students through a Capital Workforce grant. Kathleen’s non-profit experience includes working for the senior community, immigration issues, food justice, women’s rights, and transparency and accountability efforts with Public Safety. She advocates for her community on legislative matters including, women’s rights, transportation, the opioid crisis, paid family medical leave, and Unlocking the Vote for the re-entry community. Kathleen brings her experience and passion for women’s rights to CWEALF as the Community Advocate Assistant. Kathleen is also an avid cyclist, and any women identifying folks can find her at Bici Co on Monday nights, strengthening her mechanic skills for her long distance riding.
Denise Rhone joined CWEALF in 2012 and currently manages CWEALF's Legal Education Program. Denise manages the program's Information and Referral (I&R) service, Community Education and Outreach, Cooperating Attorney Network, data collection and evaluation, and leads the program’s grant writing and compliance activities. Additionally, Denise leads CWEALF's efforts and commitment to intersectional feminism and oversees the agency's intern and volunteer program.
Denise earned a B.A. in English with a concentration in creative writing from Trinity College and minored in Spanish language and Latin American/Caribbean cultural studies. Her writing has earned her multiple scholarships to study and travel across the U.S. and abroad, including Mexico, Arizona, California, Colorado, and Connecticut. Denise also has years of experience in the performing arts, most recently as an actress and contributing writer of Journey Writers, Inc., a civically-conscious group of local artists. She combines her lived experience, abilities, and passion to uplift Black, Indigenous, and people of color both in and outside of the workplace. She served as Co-Chair of a women's leadership program called Young Women Rising from 2015-2017, participated in Graustein's nine-month program, Community Leadership Project (CLP), from 2018-2019, and is a Board member of Operation Fuel. She is an avid and dedicated member of her faith community and volunteers her time to faith-based initiatives in and surrounding her hometown, Hartford.
Nilda Rivera, Community Advocacy Manager
Nilda Rivera joined CWEALF staff in 2004 and brings a combined 28 years of experience providing low-income and multicultural individuals with culturally competent and in-depth advocacy and community education. At CWEALF she conducts extensive legal advocacy to provide individuals with legal information, ongoing support, and attorney and agency referrals so they can successfully navigate legal and social service systems. Additionally, Nilda oversees fellows and volunteers who support legal advocacy and also assists in developing relationships with community organizations and Cooperating Attorneys.
Nilda previously sat on the Board of Aspira of Connecticut and the City of Hartford Grandparents Committee. She was honored by both the City of Hartford and the State of Connecticut with an official citation for her contributions as an advocate. The Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CCADV) also honored Nilda as a “2016 First 100 Plus Champion” for her work to improve the lives and outcomes of victims of domestic violence and their children. Nilda is fluent in English and Spanish.