Rep. Emily Kinkead's Biography

Since 2020, Representative Emily Kinkead has served Pennsylvania’s 20th state House District – Ross Township, Avalon, Bellevue, and West View Boroughs, and parts of the city of Pittsburgh. In her first term, she was assigned to serve on the House Appropriations, Judiciary, Human Services, and Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committees. Currently, she serves as secretary of both the Human Services and Agriculture committees. Additionally, she serves as chair of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime & Corrections and the Appropriations Subcommittee on Fiscal Policy. She is the House chair of the Legislative Hunger Caucus and on the Leadership Team of the Pennsylvania Progressive Caucus.

After earning degrees in biology and political science at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, she began her career working and advocating for people with disabilities in Washington, D.C. She then pivoted to return to the work she had started in college -- advocating for good government reform. Kinkead joined Common Cause, where she helped to organize public education programs exposing the disenfranchising effects of gerrymandering and money in politics, while mobilizing youth to demand responsive climate change policy. She then moved to the Legislative Policy Office of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which works to educate members of Congress about the need for investment in medical research and reviews the impact of proposed legislation on NIH and its projects. Kinkead also worked as the logistics coordinator for the U.S. Department of Transportation’s summer diverse internship program.

While working toward her law degree at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, she interned at a legal aid clinic in Eldoret, Kenya, protecting the rights of HIV+ individuals and victims of gender or domestic violence. Stateside, she applied those skills and refined them during her internship at Pittsburgh’s Neighborhood Legal Services office, where she assisted low-income tenants in landlord-tenant disputes across the region, and at the Pitt Law Immigration Clinic, where she helped clients seeking asylum or otherwise needing assistance navigating the complex U.S. immigration system. Additionally, she served as an intern law clerk to U.S. Magistrate Judge Lisa Pupo Lenihan. Following her graduation, Kinkead clerked for the Honorable Judge Michael H. Wojcik of Commonwealth Court before entering private practice.

She currently serves on the boards of ALCOSAN, the Pennsylvania Prison Society and Scenic Pittsburgh, and is one of the Pennsylvania House appointees to the State Council for Interstate Juvenile Supervision.

A staunch believer that government’s calling is to do the most good for the most people, Kinkead has vocally championed the policies that help working families and raise up communities – criminal justice reform, addressing food insecurity, affordable housing, livable wages, worker protections, health care, LGBTQIA+ equality, reproductive justice, adequately funding education, and more. She’s also focused on local issues like addressing blight and landslides.

A native of Pittsburgh’s Northside, Emily lives in Brighton Heights with her cats and dog.