Katherine Wheatle, Ph.D. is the strategy officer for federal policy and equity, an independent, private foundation in Indianapolis that is committed to making opportunities for learning beyond high school available to all. Based in Lumina’s office in Washington, D.C., Dr. Wheatle supports the development and advancement of the foundation’s federal policy priorities to increase education attainment and affordability. In this role, she has worked to deepen racial equity capacity (e.g., content expertise and staffing) among key federal policy and research partners and deepen the bench of advocates for racial equity in higher education, including civil rights organizations, student advocacy partners, intermediaries, think tanks and other policy advocates. Dr. Wheatle also supports the foundation’s adoption of an Equity First framework to operationalize racial equity throughout the foundation’s grantmaking, investments, operations, evaluation, communications and thought leadership, including engaging with current and potential grantees of the Racial Justice & Equity Fund. She co-produces and co-hosts Lumina’s video and audio podcast, Today’s Students, Tomorrow’s Talent.
A first-generation college graduate, Dr. Wheatle holds a bachelor’s degree in African and African American studies from The Pennsylvania State University, a master’s degree in health policy and health service research from Emory University and a doctorate in higher education from Indiana University. Her intellectual and research pursuits explore the history of race and racism enacted through higher education policy.