Katherine M. Gehl is a founding leader of the national nonpartisan political innovation movement, a former CEO, an author, and a philanthropist. She is the founder of The Institute for Political Innovation (IPI), a nonpartisan nonprofit organization founded in 2020 to contribute theory, scholarship, and strategy to catalyze model, modern political change in America. The first focus of IPI is supporting the cross-country movement for Final-Five Voting in American elections for the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate.
The mission of IPI is animated by Politics Industry Theory, the groundbreaking body of work Katherine pioneered. Politics Industry Theory looks at America’s political system through an industry-competition lens in order to better understand its structure and problems, and, most importantly, to identity the most powerful and achievable solutions to those problems. Politics Industry Theory has changed how the national reform community thinks about, talks about, and engages constituencies around “powerful-and-achievable” political change. Katherine’s key contributions to this include the 2017 Harvard Business School report, “Why Competition in the Politics Industry is Failing America,” and the 2020 Harvard Business Review book, “The Politics Industry: How Political Innovation Can Break Partisan Gridlock and Save Our Democracy.” Both the report and the book were co-authored with renowned Harvard Business School professor Michael E. Porter, one of the world’s most influential thinkers on management and competitiveness.