Nora Kassner (she/they) completed her doctoral degree in History of Public Policy at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her dissertation explores the transformation of U.S. family policy in the late 20th century through the experiences of queer foster parents and their foster children. Nora combines oral histories with archival research to capture the impacts of public policy on daily life in the United States. Prior to coming to graduate school, Nora worked as a community organizer, and a commitment to publicly-engaged scholarship remains central to her work.

As of summer 2023, Nora has taken the position of Assistant Professor-in-Residence of First Year Seminar and Internships at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. They can be reached at their new email,

Advisor: Alice O’Connor

“Hard to Place: Queer Foster Families and the Remaking of U.S. Family Policy”