Kathleen Clarke

Chief Operating Officer
Portrait of Kathleen Clarke

Prior to the Foundation in 2022, Kathleen was founder and CEO of Groundwork for Good, a consultancy that supports high-growth organizations and start-ups as they move from big ideas to outcomes. Kathleen’s professional career began as an AmeriCorps member charged with starting an afterschool program in a struggling community in Indianapolis. She then returned to Chicago to become an outreach coordinator with Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Prior to founding Groundwork, Kathleen led the finance, facilities, operations, strategy, and talent efforts as the president of one of Chicago’s largest school networks. Serving more than 8,500 students, she managed an annual operating budget of over $100 million and 14 school facilities.

Kathleen graduated from Grinnell College and earned a Master of Public Policy in Finance from the University of Chicago as a Levin Fellow. She currently serves on the board of the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy.