Katherine Gehl

Katherine Gehl

Founder & Chairman

Katherine M. Gehl is a business leader, entrepreneur, author, and speaker. Corresponding with the release of her first book, “The Politics Industry,” co-authored with Harvard Business School Professor Michael E. Porter, and in order to make good on the promise of political innovation found in its pages, Gehl founded The Institute for Political Innovation.

Gehl is the former president and CEO of Gehl Foods, a $250 million high- tech food manufacturing company in Wisconsin, where she led an aggressive and transformational turnaround, receiving multiple awards, before selling the company in 2015—in part to dedicate more time to political innovation. In 2013 Gehl applied the traditional tools of business analysis for the first time to politics in order to uncover the root cause of its dysfunction—the unhealthy competition in what she called the politics industry. In 2016 she invited Porter to join her in her work, and they co-authored the 2017 Harvard Business School publication “Why Competition in the Politics Industry Is Failing America: A Strategy for Reinvigorating Our Democracy.” Its enthusiastic reception led to their book.

Gehl serves on the boards of Unite America, Business for America, and New America. She is the honorary co-chair of the National Association of Nonpartisan Reformers (NANR). In 2018 Gehl cofounded Democracy Found, an initiative dedicated to establishing Final-Five Voting in Wisconsin for congressional elections.

Gehl received a BA from the University of Notre Dame, an MA from the Catholic University of America, and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.