Catherine-Mercedes Judge spent the last nine years leading initiatives with youth, political, community, and labor organizations in New York City and the San Francisco Bay Area. She is the former Associate Director of the Boards and Commissions Leadership Institute (BCLI) of Urban Habitat, a regional environmental justice organization driving policy advocacy on issues impacting low-income communities.
She served on the Parks Recreation and Open Space Advisory Committee and the Citywide Transitional Age Youth Board, representing the interests of working families and youth in San Francisco. Although currently residing on the east coast, she remains instrumental in community organizing in San Francisco as the Vice Chair of the Board for South of Market Community Action Network, a membership-led South of Market (SoMa) based organization, which leads community planning and advocacy around health, jobs, land use, and affordable housing.
Catherine graduated with honors and a Bachelor’s in Urban Studies from Queens College (CUNY) and was bestowed the departmental Herbert Bienstock Award for Outstanding Research. Catherine also received a certificate in Labor Studies from the Murphy Institute at the School of Professional Studies (CUNY), through the Union Semester program and was chosen as a Public Policy and International Affairs Fellow at University of Michigan's Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.
Through her mentorship placement as the Director of Community Advancement for Chica Project in Boston, she managed the team and led daily operations for the organization while helping build a solid organizational infrastructure and strong network of mentors and supporters throughout Massachusetts. In her first 90 days, the organization succeeded in holding two staff retreats, an orientation with 110 in attendance and their annual weekend retreat, each event incorporating new curricula and engaging trainers and youth. As Chica Project continues to ramp up their participation with local, national and international partners, Catherine was excited to pull from her class lessons, advice from colleagues and mentors, and from the full spectrum of her own diverse past experiences to help strengthen Chica Project.
Catherine’s commitment to public service and public administration has shaped her work, leadership, and academic opportunities, culminating in her choice to become a National Urban Fellow.