Katherine "Kitty" Prince Schirmer Cochrane, 55, a retired ExxonMobil Corp. manager who served on President Jimmy Carter's domestic policy staff, died of cancer Sept. 26 at Sibley Memorial Hospital. She lived in Washington.

Ms. Cochrane joined Exxon Corp.'s corporate planning department in New York in 1981. She occupied a succession of senior positions at Exxon and became the first woman to supervise a major Exxon refining or terminal facility when she was installed as the manager of the Exxon terminal in Bayonne, N.J.

She became manager of corporate affairs for Exxon International in 1996 and was a member of the transition team that planned the public affairs department for the merged ExxonMobil Corp. After the merger, Ms. Cochrane became the manager for downstream public affairs. She retired from ExxonMobil in July.

Ms. Cochrane was one of Carter's principal domestic policy and budget advisers from 1976 to 1980. She played a major role in the development of the energy policy initiatives of the Carter administration.

She joined Carter's presidential campaign in Atlanta in 1976 and, after his inauguration, was appointed associate director for energy, environment and natural resources on the White House domestic policy staff. In 1980, she moved to the Office of Management and Budget as associate director for natural resources, energy and science.

She was well known within the executive branch, among members of Congress and throughout industrial circles for her patience and skill in negotiating compromises on complex technical issues.

Ms. Cochrane was born in New York City and graduated from Wellesley College with a bachelor's degree in political science in 1971. After college, she joined the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington. She served the agency in several capacities, including congressional liaison, until she left in 1974 to become legislative assistant to Sen. Philip Hart (D-Mich.).

She was a member of Christ Church in Georgetown and a board member at Wolf Trap.

Her marriage to James Cochrane ended in divorce.

Survivors include a daughter, Katherine A. Cochrane of Washington; her parents, David and Regina Schirmer of Portsmouth, N.H.; and a brother.