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Since 2011, Kate Brumage has served as the first Executive Director of San Francisco-based Butler Koshland Fellowships. Having been a Butler Koshland Fellow herself, Kate’s commitment to the program runs deep.

Following Kate’s 2006 Fellowship, with Malcolm Margolin at Berkeley’s Heyday Books, she was hired on as Heyday’s Director of Publishing Partnerships. In that role, she worked closely with Heyday’s Board of Directors on marketing and development, and served as managing editor for the Yosemite imprint, a joint project of the National Park Service and the Yosemite Conservancy. She brought a fresh perspective to park publishing, creating a best-selling line of multicultural children’s books with an editorial mission: to show women and girls being active in the outdoors, and to represent the great ethnic diversity in our connection to national parklands. She is the author of two children’s books on Yosemite—Baby Yosemite and Super Silly Yosemite—and a children’s activity book created in partnership with the Juan Bautista de Anza Trail National Park, Many Worlds: Indian Life Along the Anza Trail. Some of Kate’s passion projects at Heyday included developing the properties that became A California Bestiary (written by Rebecca Solnit and illustrated by Mona Caron) and the boundary-breaking civic geography/art book All the Saints of the City of Angels, by J. Michael Walker, which expanded into a featured exhibition at the Autry Museum of the American West.

Kate has a vocation for creating opportunities for leadership development. With BKF, she is dedicated to building an ethnically and economically diverse, intergenerational, and cross-sector leadership community. It is her conviction that a broad alliance of leaders working across traditional boundaries is best equipped to realize positive social change.

Outside of her work with BKF, Kate places an emphasis on volunteering. She has served on the Young Professionals Board of buildOn, mobilizing urban American teens to do community service; as a career coach for Summer Search, providing leadership development to low-income Bay Area high school and college students; on the Fundraising Advisory Committee for Groundwork Opportunities, supporting emerging leaders in the developing world as they launch community-based poverty solutions; and as a member of the San Francisco Fire Department’s Neighborhood Emergency Response Team.

Kate attended Seattle Community College where she participated in a trade program for Offset Lithography and earned an AA degree while proudly working in the restaurant industry to support her studies. She pursued further education at the University of Washington, graduating Phi Beta Kappa with an honors degree in English Literature, before earning an MA in the Humanities from the University of Chicago. Both her undergraduate and graduate work concerned critical race theory and gender studies, with a focus on literary representations of racist, sexist, and homophobic pseudo-scientific theories of evolution. Her literary studies embedded in her a profound respect for the power of representation, and drives her to create opportunities for people to speak their own truths.



As the Program Assistant at Butler Koshland Fellowships, Lillian supports the Executive Director in the areas of development and communications. Previously, she was the Education and Outreach Director at Heyday, a nonprofit publisher, making sure books were not just published, but read, discussed, and debated. In that role, she coordinated hundreds of events per year, including the annual fundraising event, and served as Heyday’s representative at conferences around the state. She also served as the Editorial Assistant for News from Native California, Heyday’s quarterly magazine devoted to the cultures of California’s Indian peoples.

While at Macalester College where she graduated with honors in Linguistics and Anthropology, Lillian had the privilege of working with local Hmong and Somali immigrant communities, which sparked a life-long passion for working on projects that bring underrepresented voices to a broader audience. She is excited to be a part of Butler Koshland Fellowships and enthusiastically supports its mission to build a dynamic group of leaders from a variety of backgrounds.

Lillian loves exercising her left brain by applying her technology skills to support social justice causes. She recently completed a course with MotherCoders, a training program for moms who want to expand their understanding of the technology landscape and learn basic coding. She has also completed coursework at CCSF’s GIS Education Center. You’ll often find her geeking out in Salesforce and dreaming of the perfect nonprofit database.

A proud rural Vermonter, Lillian spends her free time outside in the woods, on the mountains, and at the beach with her wife and son.