As Brian Sandoval succeeded Jim Gibbons as Governor of Nevada on January 3, 2011, his wife Kathleen Teipner Sandoval became the First Lady of Nevada. As First Lady, Kathleen is aiming to make a difference in the family and children sector.

Early Life and Education

Kathleen Teipner was born on July 13, 1965 in the state of Nevada to father James Wood and mother Jean McKinley. Raised in Reno by her parents, she joined Wooster High School for early education. Subsequently, Sandoval moved on to California State University for an undergraduate degree in physical therapy. Prior to joining California State University, she had joined Lewis & Clark College and the University of Nevada. For post-graduate degree, Kathleen entered the University of Nevada and completed her education with a thesis on speech language pathology.

Personal Life

Kathleen Teipner and Brian Sandoval met while attending a seminar at the University of Nevada. The couple shortly started dating and married after Brian graduated from the law school. having been together for around 26 years now, the couple has three children: Marisa, James and Madeline Sandoval.

Brian Sandoval with his wife and children at his inauguration ceremony.
Brian Sandoval with his wife and children at his inauguration ceremony.


Graduating from the University of Nevada with a master’s degree in speech language pathology, Kathleen Sandoval started her career in a brain injury unit. Soon enough, she was promoted to regional manager of the same unit. Besides this medical profession, Sandoval has been a prominent figure in non-profit organizations working in the state of Nevada.

When it comes to Sandoval’s community engagement, the first thing in the list is Children’s Cabinet. As Director of Operations in the organization, she has been contributing to the welfare of children by addressing mental health issues, supporting and encouraging homeless and abused children, increasing regular schooling and getting rid of family violence. Likewise, Sandoval has also been working towards achieving a more literate Nevada.

As chair of Governor’s Council on Food Security, Sandoval concentrates on homeless and poverty-stricken families who go hungry for several meals. Similarly, as one of the initiators of Governor’s Breakfast Challenge, Kathleen is advocating for a provision of healthy food in schools. She is also involved in ‘Breakfast Before the Bell’. As per the legislation proposed by the initiative, the school canteens should provide breakfast for free to everyone or in a much-subsidized cost.

As a medical expert herself, Kathleen Sandoval advocates against drug abuse and misuse – whether it be prescribed or illegal. With a membership of National Governors Association’s Prescription Drug Abuse Committee, Sandoval has been working primarily to raise awareness and proposing a more advanced prescription bill. Besides, some other organizations she currently engages with are:

  • Read for the Record
  • Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge
  • Nevada Interagency Council on Homelessness
  • Nevada Health Center’s Mammovan

For her works, Sandoval has been honored with Care Hero Award and Women in Leadership Award.

Donald Trump and Kathleen Sandoval

Kathleen Sandoval’s husband and Governor of Nevada, Brian Sandoval, is more familiar and linked with Donald Trump than Kathleen. Governor Sandoval and President Trump, although from the same party, differ contrastingly in some issues. Sandoval has opposed Trump’s wall on the Mexico border and even backed off from endorsing him. Interestingly, for own political interests, Sandoval supported Trump as he became the only likely candidate to receive the Republican nomination.


Categories: Biography

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