Student Spotlight: Kate Fenimore: From Film Editor to Health Tech Change Maker

By Anh-Thi Le, DIL Program Coordinator

Kate Fenimore’s passion for international development was ignited while working as a video editor for socially-minded TV and Internet outlets. Her experience documenting various development projects around the world led her to want to “be a part of the solution, rather than solely reporting on solutions.”

Born and raised in Seattle, Kate came to UC Berkeley set on fostering this enthusiasm. “I came to the Masters in Public Policy (MPP) program at Berkeley with two big goals: to get a better understanding of how technology could be a game changer in the field of international development; and to figure out how to take things to scale.” She added, “Getting involved with the Development Impact Lab (DIL) was a natural next step for me in that process.”

During her first year in the MPP program, Kate served as an e-Intern for USAID’s Securing Water for Food Grand Challenge and as a member of the DIL Idea Team, an interdisciplinary group of graduate students tasked with designing and implementing new, creative ways to engage UC Berkeley in global development challenges. In this capacity, she spearheaded various projects including a community “innovation crawl.” The work at DIL allowed her to learn more about getting innovations from lab bench to community.

“Even though CellScope is being developed in a lab just 50 yards away from the Goldman School of Public Policy, I probably would not have heard of it if it wasn’t for DIL.”

In addition to her active participation on campus, Kate spent summer 2014 working in USAID’s Global Health Bureau, in the Office of Population and Reproductive Health. There, she contributed to various mobile health projects, including family planning strategies and programs that leverage the ubiquity of cellphones to help disseminate information about family planning methods and reproductive health. After presenting some of her initial research surrounding youth programs, she spent three weeks in Ghana and Togo to help USAID’s West Africa mission develop a broader youth strategy.

This fall, Kate will return to UC Berkeley as a graduate student researcher for DIL.