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Maria Kim

REDF President & CEO

Maria Kim is the president and CEO of REDF. Prior to REDF, Maria served as CEO of Cara Collective, a nationally recognized employment social enterprise helping people experiencing homelessness and poverty get back to hope, jobs, and opportunity.

Maria is a member of the U.S. Small Business Association’s Investment Capital Advisory Committee, where she helps support the development of a more inclusive and accessible ecosystem for small businesses nationwide. She serves on the Entrepreneurship & Economic Mobility Task Force for the state of California, and is an active advisory board member of the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Duke University’s CASE center, Procure Impact, First Women’s Bank, and the Leadership Society Initiative.

She received her MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business; she was honored in 2022 with the Chicago Booth Distinguished Alumni Award. She is also a Presidential Leadership Scholar, a Vital Voices Global Ambassador, an American Marshall Memorial Fellow, a Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow, and a former co-chair within Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s 2019 transition team.

A social impact enthusiast, advocate, and entrepreneur, Maria knows firsthand we stand on the shoulders of those who came before us; and our job – or more like our opportunity – is to pave the way for others to stand on ours. She writes about that journey as it relates to her time leading Cara in Voice and Vocation: A workforce practitioner’s guide to building hope, jobs, and opportunity.