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Kali Thorne Ladd

Kali Thorne Ladd is a social entrepreneur committed to educational revolution through approaches rooted in love and inclusion.   Her greatest joy comes from thinking outside the box on solutions that can work to bring more children and adults opportunities to be their best selves.  Her 20 year career in public policy, education practice and entrepreneurship has informed this frame. Kali thrives on collaboration and innovation to do social good whether from the public, private or non-profit sector. 

Six years ago Kali co-founded KairosPDX and currently serves as its Executive Director. Kairos is a social enterprise dedicated to eliminating disparities and opportunities for historically marginalized children through practice that builds off of the neuroscience of love.  Kairos is currently based in Portland, Oregon. Prior to co-founding Kairos, Kali’s career spanned from Peace Corps volunteer and teacher to top Education Advisor to Portland's Mayor. 

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 that she has chaired for the past 2 years. Kali is the first African-American female and youngest person in the history of the college to do so.  Kali was appointed by Governor Brown to the state of Oregon’s Early Learning Council, the policy body overseeing early childhood for the state and was recently appointed to the Miller Foundation's Board of Directors. 

Recognized by the Portland Business Journal as a 2018 Women of Influence as well as being named on the list of 40 under 40 a few years back, Kali is a force to be reckoned with. Her passion for speaking comes from a deep-rooted desire to create more space for social good in the world. Kali seeks to be a bridge catalyzing productive dialogue across difference as well as a voice for how the power of love and the neuroscience that supports it can be catalytic for making schools and public spaces a place where all can thrive. 

Kali graduated with a BA in Education and psychology from Boston College and earned a Masters degree in Education Policy from Harvard University. 

Topics Include
Education I Racial Equity I Politics
Possible Formats
Keynote I Lecture I Panel

Past Engagements

  • Q Ideas

  • Social Venture Partners

  • “Can’t Not Do” Event

  • Portland General Electric

  • Portland Business Alliance’s Leadership

  • Portland State University’s Leadership Women’s Conference

  • City Club of Portland

  • Oregon Business Plan


Travel Info

Departing From:
Portaland, OR