Dr. Kathleen St. Louis Caliento has spent two decades committed to urban education, student success, and dismantling social injustice. As the President & CEO of Cara Collective, she leads a social purpose enterprise with 30 years of experience helping people affected by poverty (and often the interrelated challenges of recovery, domestic violence, episodic homelessness, incarceration, and systemic inequity) to get and keep quality employment. Further, Cara Collective works with employers and organizations across the nation to create more equitable workforce solutions and build a more inclusive economy for all. Through its four entities, Cara Collective produces more than 1,000 jobs each year, at retention rates more than 20 points higher than national norms.
Before joining Cara Collective, Caliento was the Chief Learning and Design Officer at the Academy Group, where she worked to help people rise above the effects of poverty, while demonstrating a professional commitment to access and equity. Prior to the Academy Group, she held several leadership positions at Spark, including Executive Director of Spark Chicago. A published author, Caliento earned her Master of Arts in Secondary Science and her Doctor of Philosophy in Science Education from Columbia University. Caliento serves on the Boards of Adler University and Leadership Greater Chicago LFA Board. Additionally, she attended the Civic Leadership Academy at the University of Chicago and is a Fellow of the 2020 class of Leadership Greater Chicago.