Kali Thorne Ladd is a champion for youth, equity, and opportunity. Her greatest joy comes from being part of a team that believes all children deserved to be seen, heard and valued. Her 18 year career as an educator has informed this frame and was particularly impacted by her time as a Peace Corps volunteer in rural South Africa, 3 years after the end of apartheid.
Kali is co-founder and Executive Director of KairosPDX, a non-profit dedicated to eliminating disparities and opportunities for historically under-served children in Portland, Oregon. Prior to co-founding Kairos, Kali's career spanned from teacher, to program manager to policy director topped off by four years as Education Director for Portland Mayor Sam Adams where she focused similarly on expanding opportunity and options for under-served children.
A native of New England, Kali has found Oregon to be a great home where she and her husband Billy raise their children, work and engage in civic activities. In May 2013, Kali won election to the Portland Community College Board of Directors where she has served for the past five years. Kali currently Chairs the board and is the first African-American female in the history of the college to do so. Kali was also appointed by Governor Brown to the state of Oregon's Early Learning Council, the policy body overseeing early childhood for the state.
Kali's passion for speaking comes from a deep-rooted desire to be a bridge where fruitful and productive dialogue can take place across difference. Her extensive background in education and education policy provides a strong platform for this conversation to take place. Kali graduated with a BA in Education and psychology from Boston College and earned a Masters degree in Education Policy from Harvard University.