Katherine Zappone is a human rights advocate, author and former Independent Minister for Children and Youth Affairs as well as a Senator in Ireland. Currently living in the United States she has been campaigning for Democrats in the 2020 election and is a contributor and commentator in Irish print and broadcast media on the topic.
In October 2020 Katherine was appointed as an International Expert to the Lancet Covid-19 Commission, where she is working to produce recommendations on ‘Human Relief, Social Protection and Vulnerable Groups’ for the Global Community, including the UN.
As well as serving in political office in Ireland, during 2019-20 she served as Special Envoy on Ireland’s successful bid to secure a seat at the United Nation’s Security Council. She travelled in Africa, to the UN in New York and across Europe to help secure the support of individual countries for Ireland’s term which starts in 2021.
During her term as Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, she established Ireland’s first ever National Childcare Scheme, supported by an unprecedented increase in Government investment. She led the Government response to the discovery of human remains at the site of the former Mother and Baby Home in Tuam, Co Galway and strongly advocated for a Transitional Justice approach to the wider Mother and Baby home scandal. She initiated the world first National Youth LGBTI+ Strategy, and established the Youth Climate Justice Fund subsequent to the historic UN General Assembly of 2019.