Katherine is a writer of political commentaries whose perspective as an American living in southern France has been enriched by multiple decades of experience with governance at local, national and international levels. She is a strong believer in participatory and inclusive governance. Her website features her commentaries on global issues of democracy, human rights, climate change, immigration and other socio-political issues. But she also includes more personalized musings on how these issues are played out in the local context of where she lives in Grasse, France.
With an undergraduate degree in Government from Oberlin College, and doctorates in both Law (UNC-Chapel Hill) and International Relations (SIS-American University, Washington, DC), Katherine Hagen started her professional career as a college professor and community activist. Through the years, she has applied her formal learning and her accumulation of personal experiences to enabling different kinds of actors to participate in far-reaching multi-stakeholder dialogue for the sake of consensus-building and collaboration.
Most recently, her public sector experiences have included a senior level position at the International Labour Organization (ILO) in Geneva, Switzerland, but she also held both national and state-level positions as a White House Fellow and as a State Senator in the US. Her work in the private sector has included advising major multinational corporations on engagement with international organizations, first as a senior executive in government relations with AT&T in the US and more recently through her own consulting firm based in Switzerland. She also founded and directed a global NGO, the Global Social Observatory, that has specialized in multi-stakeholder collaboration on a variety of global social issues, such as trade and labor standards, scaling up nutrition or enabling a just transition to climate change.
Working today as a free-lance writer and advocate of global collaboration, Katherine participates in meetings and initiatives associated with groups like the Paris Peace Forum, the Council on Foreign Relations, the White House Fellows Association and the Geneva-based Greycells, Association of Former International Civil Servants for Development. She regularly writes commentaries on democracy, racism, climate change, global health and international organizations. On the community level, she is active in various cultural events in and around Grasse, France where she currently lives with her partner of 35 years Ralph Doggett. She also teaches a class for adults on English as a foreign language.
This website features in-depth commentaries on global social issues (under “Commentaries”) and more personal reflections or musings on aspects of daily life (under “Musings”). These are regularly updated, and reader comments are welcome. Democracy, the COVID-19 pandemic and the heightened call for action against racism are the most current topics, where the urgent challenges to both local and global collaboration are facing us.
There is also an archived section and gallery with highlights from Katherine’s work in a wide variety of settings encompassing civil society, academia, and both public and private sectors.