Kathryn Starkey

Kathryn Starkey

Commissioner, Pasco County

Kathryn E. Starkey was born in the San Francisco area and moved to Miami in 1973. After high school she attended schools in Europe, before heading to FSU. Prior to settling in the Tampa Bay Area, Kathryn lived in France, Spain, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela. She is a 35-year resident of the Tampa Bay Area.

Before becoming a public servant, Kathryn’s career was in Marketing and Interior Design. She served her community through her appointments to various state and local boards by Governor’s Bush, Crist and Scott, including the State Greenways and Trails Council and the Pinellas-Anclote River Basin Board of the Southwest Florida Water Management District. She is a graduate of Leadership Pasco, Leadership Tampa Bay and the USF Water Leadership Institute.

Kathryn has served on the boards of All Children’s Hospital, the Red Cross, the Pasco Education Foundation and many other civic associations. In the 90’s, she formed a 501c3 named Scenic Pasco, whose mission was to rewrite many of the ordinances in Pasco County that dealt with aesthetic issues such as billboards, landscaping and cell towers. She was twice elected to the District School Board of Pasco, where she helped initiate Career Academies focused on the IT, Automotive, Engineering and Medical fields, among others. In her initial term with the School Board, she was presented with the first State of Florida “School Board Member of the Year Award” by the Council of Education Foundations. She then returned to the private sector before running for Commissioner in 2012. Now in her second term, one of her focuses has been on workforce and economic development.

Kathryn is a member of Global Tampa Bay and works closely with the Pasco Economic Development Council (PEDC), where she founded and served as Chair of the PEDC International Committee and remains actively involved with the PEDC Talent Pipeline Task Force.  She is a member of NACo since 2016, currently serving her second consecutive term as Chair of the NACo International Economic Development Task Force Committee (Vice Chair 2016/2017).  In addition, she is serving her second consecutive term as Vice Chair of the NACo Community Economic and Workforce Development (CEWD) Steering Committee/Workforce Development Subcommittee. She is an active member of the FAC Federal Policy Committee, serving as Policy Leader (2017-2018), Vice Chair (2018-2019) and on the FAC Board of Directors – District 20 Representative (2018 to 2020).  Kathryn is also a member of the Pasco-Hernando Workforce Board. In 2007/2008, she served as Chair of the Florida School Board Association (FSBA) Task Force for Education Innovation.

Involved with developing international trade, with a focus on Europe and South America, Kathryn has conducted highly successful international trade workshops resulting in positive outcomes for our local businesses in their efforts to learn how to export.  She has also made solid networking connections between Pasco, Tampa Bay and international businesses.  In addition, she participated in an economic development trip to Peru in 2015 and led the fourth economic exchange trip to Austria, Switzerland and Germany in 2017, where she proudly promoted AmSkills (American Manufacturing Skills Initiative), a unique regional workforce apprenticeship training program, which she co-founded and serves as a current Board Member. In 2017, Kathryn was recognized as “International Person of the Year” by the Tampa Bay Organization of Women in International Trade (TBOWIT). In May 2018, Kathryn participated in the Global Tampa Bay Trade Mission to Mexico, resulting in $35 Million in projected economic activity for local companies.

Kathryn was recently appointed to the Intergovernmental Policy Advisory Committee (IGPAC), serving a four-year term through April, 2022.  The IGPAC is a trade advisory committee that provides general policy advice and guidance to the United States Trade Representative (USTR) on issues involving trade and development that have a significant relationship to the affairs of the U.S. state and local governments.  Her role in IGPAC is to represent the voice of local governments on U.S. trade issue and was supported by NACo.

Kathryn is married to Jay B. Starkey III, a member of a Tampa Bay pioneer family and has four children and two grandchildren.


  • Public Leadership Institute (PLI)
  • Certified County Commissioner
  • Advanced County Commissioner
  • Florida School Boards Association (FSBA) Certified Board Member (CBM)
  • Florida School Boards Association (FSBA) Master Board (MB)
  • Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL
  • University of Madrid, Spain
  • University of Santander, Spain
  • Assumption School, Paris, France
  • Pinellas Technical Education Center, FL
  • South Miami High School, Miami, FL


  • Florida Bicycle Association – 2018 Elected Official Champion of the Year
  • Tampa Bay Organization Women in International Trade – 2017 International Person of the Year Award
  • Upper Tampa Bay Manufacturing Association – 2016 Distinguished Manufacturing Service Award
  • NACo - 2016-2017 Leadership Award
  • Tri-County Trail Connection - 2014 Future of the Region Development/Infrastructure Award
  • Consortium of Education Foundations - 2008-2009 Florida School Board Member of the Year Award
  • FAC (Florida Association of Counties) – 2017 Presidential Advocate of the NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program); 2018 Presidential Advocate.
  • Florida Recreation and State Parks Association - Honorary Member
  • James P. Gills YMCA - Community Award Winner
  • Lighthouse for the Visually Impaired and Blind – Chasco Coronation Court Nominee 2000

Work Experience:

Pasco County Government

County Commissioner: Elected in 2012 to a four-year term and re-elected in 2016.

County Commission Chair (2015 to 2016 Term):  The Board of County Commissioners is the legislative and policy-making body of County government.  The five members of the Board are elected Countywide from all districts.  The Board appoints the County Administrator and the County Attorney and confirms the appointment of department heads.  We establish policy and make all budget decisions with regard to appropriate of funds to County Departments, Divisions and some Constitutional Officers. The County Commission provides updates on the budget and other important matters. 

Florida School Board

  • Executive Committee (2008-2010)
  • Board of Directors (2006-2010)
  • Florida School Boards Association (FSBA)

National Cyber Partnership, Tampa, FL

Strategic Relationship Director: 2006 - Present

Starkey Land Company, Odessa, FL

Government/Public Relations: 1999 - 2012

Bridgeton Publishing

Marketing Director:  1989-1992

Interior Designer: 1985-1989

Community Experience:

Pasco County Commission Representative


  • AmSkills - American Manufacturing Skills Initiative - Co-Founder
  • Gulf Coast Consortium Committee
  • FAC (Florida Association of Counties)
    • Federal Committee – Vice Chair
    • Board of Directors – District 20 Representative (2018 to 2020)
  • Pasco Commission on Status of Women
  • NACO (National Association of County Officials)
    • Community, Economic and Workforce Development Steering Committee/Workforce Development Subcommittee – Vice Chair
    • International Economic Task Force Committee – Chair
  • Pasco Economic Development Council
    • International Committee - Founder and Chair
    • Talent Pipeline Task Force
  • Pasco-Hernando Workforce Board
  • RESTORE Act Advisory Committee
  • Tampa Bay Estuary Program
  • Tampa Bay Partnership
  • Tampa Bay Organization of Women in International Trade (TBOWIT)
  • Intergovernmental Policy Advisory Committee (IGPAC)


  • Career Technical Education Foundation (2008-2012)
  • Citizens Advisory Committee (Comprehensive Land Use Plan) EAR - Vice Chair District 4 (2003-2005)
  • FAC (Florida Association of Counties)
    • Board of Directors - Board Member & “At-Large” Representative (2013 to 2018)
    • Federal Committee – Policy Leader (2017-2018); Vice Chair (2018-2019)
  • Florida Humanities Council – Board Member (Appointed by Governor Rick Scott - 2012-2015)
  • Florida State Greenways and Trails Council (2002-2012)
  • NACO (National Association of County Officials)
    • Community, Economic and Workforce Development Steering Committee/Workforce Development Subcommittee – Vice Chair (2016-2018)
    • International Economic Task Force Committee – Vice Chair (2016-2017); Chair (2017/2018 & 2018/2019)
  • Pasco Building Association – 2001-2006; Board of Directors (2001-2004)
  • Pasco County Citizens Ordinance Review Committee (1997-2002)
  • Pasco County School Board – Chair (2004-2010; Elected 2004 & re-elected without opposition in 2008)
  • Pasco Education Foundation – Dream Builder Society/Cinderella Ball Co-Chair (2008 & 2009)
  • Pasco Tourist Development Council – Chair (2016-2018)
  • Pinellas-Anclote River Basin Board of the Southwest Florida Water Management District (Appointed twice by Governor Bush - 2002-2009).
  • Tampa Bay Political Leadership Institute (2011-2012)
  • Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council


  • All Children’s Hospital – Board of Directors (2012-2015)
  • All Children’s Hospital Guild of New Port Richey - Founding Member & Past President (1993-2010)
  • Celebration Pasco – Founder & Executive Board Member
  • Central Florida Chamber of Commerce
  • Citizens for Scenic Florida - Executive Board Member
  • Citizens for Scenic Pasco - Founder
  • Community Water Leadership Program, University of South Florida 2003
  • Florida School Boards Association (FSBA) Task Force for Education Innovation – Chair (2007-2008)
  • Greater Pasco Chamber of Commerce
  • Leadership Pasco - Class of 2000 - Vice President & Board Member (2000-2002)
  • Leadership Tampa Bay - Class of 2002
  • North Tampa Chamber of Commerce (fka Trinity Odessa/Wesley Chapel Chamber of Commerce)
  • One Bay 2007
  • Pasco 2100 - Co-Founder
  • Red Cross of Tampa Bay - Board of Directors (2006-2012)
  • Suncoast Corridor Advocacy Group for Scenic Highway Designation - Vice Chair
  • Wachovia Community Bank - Advisory Board Member (2006 to 2010)
  • West Pasco Chamber of Commerce
  • West Pasco Family YMCA Sustaining Campaign/Adopt a Child - 1997
  • Youth Soccer Coach (2004-2006)
  • Cheerleading Coach – Pop Warner League
  • East Lake Little League - Board of Directors (1996-1997)