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.”