President and CEO

Maria Kim

Maria Kim, ’12, joined Cara in 2005 after spending 13 years in the insurance industry, where she led the technology division for a $400 million insurance firm. Today she leads efforts at Cara to activate people and communities through the power of employment.

In business for 25 years, Cara helps men and women affected by poverty to get and keep good jobs, and, more importantly, to rebuild hope, self-esteem, and opportunity for themselves and their families. At Cara, over 80 percent of employed participants move on to permanent housing where their families can thrive. Cara also maintains market-competitive businesses that create gateway jobs and social returns on investment. For every dollar invested in this work, $5.74 is invested back into society over a five-year time period.

Kim also currently serves on the Cook County Commission on Social Innovation and the boards of Epic Academy and Rebuilding Exchange. She was a fellow for Leadership Greater Chicago’s Class of 2008, served on the board for the Leadership Fellows Association in 2009 and 2010, was a 2012 American Marshall Memorial Fellow and a 2013 TEDxMidwest Emerging Leader.

Maria Kim will participate in “Lightning Talks: Why the People, Culture, and Communication are Key to Improving Your Nonprofit.”