Kate Nicholson, JD
Executive Director, National Pain Advocacy Center and Civil Rights Attorney.
Civil Rights Speaker and Writer
Kate Nicholson, JD, is a health policy and civil rights attorney and a nationally-recognized expert on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). She served in the U.S. Department of Justice's civil rights division for 20 years, where she litigated and managed cases nationwide, coordinated federal disability policy and drafted the current ADA regulations.
Kate currently advocates for the treatment of pain and addiction and addressing the overdose crisis. She developed intractable pain after a surgical mishap left her unable to sit or stand and severely limited in walking for more than a decade. She gave the TEDx talk, What We Lose When We Undertreat Pain, and speaks widely at universities and conferences and to physicians groups. She has published pieces in The Washington Post, the LA Times, The Chicago Tribune, the Miami Herald, the Hill, and STATnews, among others, and is writing a book. She has appeared on public radio, Stand Up with Pete Dominick, and The Roy Green Show, and has given interviews to Fox News, Vice, and others.
Kate is Co-Chair of the Chronic Pain/Opioid Task Force for the National Council on Independent Living. She regularly collaborates with drug policy, civil rights, disability rights and pain awareness organizations. She is also a 2019-20 Mayday Pain & Society Fellow.
Kate was a Senior Fellow at Dartmouth College and is a graduate of Harvard Law School.