Kathy Ellen Manning was born on December 3, 1956, in Detroit, Michigan. Her father worked for the Ford Motor Company for forty years, and her mother was a public-school teacher. “From them,” Manning said she “learned the importance of perseverance, the value of education, and the importance of giving back to your community.”
Manning attended Harvard University, where she sang a cappella with the Radcliffe Pitches. She also attended the University of Michigan Law School, earning a juris doctor.
After graduating from college, Manning moved to Greensboro, her husband’s hometown, in 1987. After serving as a partner at a major law firm for 15 years, she left to start her own immigration law firm.
Manning held leadership positions at the United Way, Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro, the National Conference for Community and Justice, and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She also served on the Bennett College Re-Engineering Committee. She was also the first woman to chair the Board of the Jewish Federations of North America, one of the largest charitable, faith-based organizations in the world, which aids communities in need around the world.
She ran and lost the race for North Carolina’s 13th congressional district in 2018. After a court-ordered redistricting in 2019, Manning’s home in Greensboro was drawn into the neighboring 6th District and became one of the most Democratic white-majority districts in the South. Manning won the election for the seat in 2020.
She was assigned to the Committee on Foreign Affairs and Committee on Education and Labor.
Manning and her husband, Randall Kaplan, have three children.