Catherine Nichols was raised in Tucson in a political family with divided allegiance at football games. (Her mother, Dr. Ann Nichols, taught for almost 40 years at the ASU School of Social Work and her father, the late Senator Andy Nichols, was the director of the Rural Health Office for the U of A.) She is married to Dr. Asher Kaufman and they have three children, El’ad (8), Noa (5) and Matan (1) — who have collectively been to more meetings than most people will in their entire lives!
Her first political campaign was in 1982 when she knocked on doors for her father’s first campaign for state office. Before his next campaign in 1988, she walked across the United States with the Great Peace March and became a Flinn Scholar pursuing Women’s Studies at the University of Arizona.
Running six more of her father’s campaigns, running the off-year campaigns for Gabrielle Giffords, managing the Southern Arizona campaign for Terry Goddard and working on two statewide initiatives, she is most proud of working on Prop 204, Healthy Arizona. This was a successful ballot initiative to help low-income Arizonans get healthcare and it has provided services to over 350,000 people in the state.
In between her political work in Arizona, she has lived and studied in Japan, worked in France and Israel, and has volunteered on community health projects in Vietnam, Uganda and Nicaragua. She has a Master’s in Women’s Studies from Brandeis University and a PhD in Social Welfare with a concentration in Health Policy.