Skip to content
Home Search

Maria Kim

REDF President & CEO

Maria serves as 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 was recently appointed to U.S. Small Business Association’s new Investment Capital Advisory Committee to advise SBA in the development of a more inclusive and accessible ecosystem for small businesses nationwide. She also serves on the 2022 Entrepreneurship & Economic Mobility Task Force for the state of California, and on the advisory boards of Procure Impact, First Women’s Bank, the Leadership Society Initiative, and the University of Chicago Inclusive Economy Lab. She is a 2008 Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow, a 2012 American Marshall Memorial Fellow, a 2018 Vital Voices Global Ambassador, a former co-chair within Mayor Lightfoot’s 2019 transition team, a 2020 Presidential Leadership Scholar, and a 2022 Distinguished Alumni in Public Service from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, from which she received her MBA.

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 hopes, jobs, and opportunity.

Recent speaking engagements, interviews, podcasts, and awards: