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, Development & Communications Coordinator
Meg Dubois leads fundraising and communication efforts for CWEALF. Ms. Dubois earned her master’s degree in social work from the University of Connecticut and serves as an MSW field instructor for graduate student interns. Ms. Dubois previously worked as CWEALF's Development Associate from 2003-2006. She's a current volunteer and former board member at the Friendly Hands Food Bank in her hometown of Torrington, CT.
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.
Denise Rhone, Legal Education Manager
Denise Rhone joined CWEALF in 2012 as Office Coordinator and currently manages CWEALF's Legal Education Program. This includes managing the program's Information and Referral (I&R) service, Community Education and Outreach, Cooperating Attorney Network, data collection and evaluation, and leading 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 received her B.A. in English from Trinity College with a minor in Spanish language and Latin American/Caribbean cultural studies. She is a creative writer and has received numerous scholarships to study and travel across the U.S. and abroad, including Mexico, Arizona, California, Colorado, and Connecticut. As a storyteller, Denise also has years of experience in the performing arts, most recently as an actress and contributing writer of Journey Writers, Inc. She combines her abilities with her passion to empower women 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, is a 2018-2019 participant of New Haven’s Community Leadership Project, and is a Board member for Operation Fuel. She has been an avid member of her faith community since 2002 and volunteers her time to faith-based initiatives in and surrounding her hometown, Hartford.
Nilda Rivera, Bilingual Community Advocate
Nilda Rivera joined the CWEALF staff in 2004 as a Bilingual Community Advocate. Ms. Rivera conducts extensive advocacy in the Greater Hartford and Greater New Haven areas to provide individuals with legal information and referrals on family, employment discrimination, civil rights, and education equity, and helps clients navigate legal and social service systems. Ms. Rivera sat on the board of Aspira of Connecticut and the City of Hartford Grandparents Committee. The Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CCADV) formally honored Ms. Rivera, as a “2016 First 100 Plus Champion” for her work to improve the lives and outcomes of victims of domestic violence and their children. Ms. Rivera is bilingual in English and Spanish.