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President & CEO

Kathleen S. Caliento

Dr. Kathleen S. Caliento has spent the past two decades committed to urban education, student success, and dismantling social injustice. Before joining Cara Collective in 2021, Kathleen 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. Kathleen serves on the Boards of Adler University, 826CHI, 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. A published author, Kathleen earned her Master of Arts in Secondary Science and her Doctor of Philosophy in Science Education from Columbia University. Originally from New York City, but calling Chicago home since 2003, Kathleen enjoys running, playing the guitar, and traveling with her family.
Kathleen’s first job: “I delivered newspapers seven days a week when I was 12 years old.”

Meet the Rest of the Executive Team

Chief Program Officer
Bob White
A graduate of the University of Michigan, Bob served as the owner-operator of an automotive aftermarket business in Michigan prior...
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Managing Director of Cleanslate
Brady Gott
Brady is the Managing Director of our flagship social enterprise, Cleanslate. Since 2007, Brady has overseen the financial health of...
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Executive Assistant
Emily Billups
Emily graduated from Dominican University in 2014 after majoring in criminology and sociology. She later joined Medix Staffing Company where...
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Chief Business Development Officer
Joe Mutuc
A native Chicagoan, Joe began his nonprofit career in 2006 as a Corporate Account Manager at Cara.  In his current...
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Chief Financial Officer
Joel Pomerenk
Joel leads our Finance, Accounting, HR, Technology, Public Grants, and Operations teams.  He joined Cara in 2019, bringing more than...
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Managing Director of Expansion & Integration
Sara Wasserteil
Sara joined Cara in 2019 to lead our national expansion efforts. In this role, she brings Cara’s methodology to new...
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Chief Philanthropy Officer
Shikha Jain
Hailing from the Midwest, Shikha spent 10-plus years on both coasts before returning to Chicago and joining the team at...
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