July 17, 2015 | last updated July 17, 2015 1:24 pm
40 Under Forty 2015

Kathryn Shafer

Kathryn Shafer

Age: 32

Title: Policy Analyst

Company: Partnership for Strong Communities

Location: Hartford

Hometown: West Hartford

College: Cornell University


Utilizing her law degree, Kathryn Shafer has sought to widen the spectrum of housing choice across the state, recognizing that an affordable home with access to transportation, education, community services and health care advances opportunity. At the Partnership for Strong Communities, she guides town officials and residents on the ways to foster understanding and achieve consensus on the needs and benefits of a wider array of housing. She works with developers to leverage opportunities and public financing and convenes stakeholders to promote solutions.

Prior to joining the Partnership, Shafer developed multi-family affordable, workforce and supportive housing in urban, suburban and rural communities statewide while at the Women's Institute for Housing & Economic Development. Shafer guided all aspects of development, navigating project financing through a variety of private and public programs. She came to Connecticut to join Common Ground, supporting the expansion of that organization's operations, including successful community development at The Hollander, its flagship project in downtown Hartford. She first worked with Common Ground as a contributing author to the public interest architecture publication, 'Design Like You Give A Damn.'

She hails from Chappaqua, N.Y.


What is the best thing someone would say about your career thus far? I have successfully managed an unpredictable economy by merging my interest in the built environment with my legal education to make a meaningful contribution to the affordable housing landscape in Connecticut. My success would not have been possible without the keen guidance and expert training provided by my mentors. They have helped me to hone my resourcefulness and to trust my instincts. From them I have received a technical and political education second to none.

I prepare for the unexpected in life by… Ensuring a positive support network in my personal and professional life.

If you could have four traveling companions (alive or dead, real or fictional) throughout your life's journey, who would you pick? My husband, my son, my sister and my brother, without whom the experiences would never be as rich.

Life's Journey:

During my off time, I am most passionate about…. My family

What is the most exciting destination you've ever traveled to? Lanai, Hawaii

Where was your best foreign meal? Aux Fines Herbes in Goult, France

Where is the one place you want to travel in your lifetime? The Pyramids in Egypt

Favorite Connecticut destination: Elephant's Trunk Flea Market in New Milford

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