Kate McAdams is a managing director in Arabella’s Chicago office, where she works with a wide range of families and individuals, foundations, and corporations to conceive, design, and deliver the solutions they need to achieve their philanthropic and impact investing goals. Kate works extensively in the Chicago area and across the Midwest, using her deep networks, philanthropic expertise, and leadership skills to help clients drive impact regionally, nationally, and internationally.
Kate’s career demonstrates a commitment to public service and to solving difficult problems through partnership and collaborative change-making. Prior to joining Arabella, Kate was appointed by President Obama to serve as senior advisor to US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker. Her portfolio consisted of developing and implementing the secretary’s strategic priorities, including growing entrepreneurship, strengthening community and economic development, and leading policy initiatives to support 21st-century skills development, a pillar of the department’s “Open for Business” agenda. In this role, Kate created and led the department-wide Skills for Business effort, which broadened the role of employers in federal workforce policy, supported the growth of talent pipelines in important sectors, improved alignment between workforce and economic development, and expanded apprenticeship models.
Before joining the Department of Commerce, Kate served as executive director of The Pritzker Traubert Family Foundation, where she guided investments in programs to improve schools, health and fitness, arts and culture, and skills training in Chicago and nationally. She also held policy advisor roles in the Mayor’s Office in New Haven, Connecticut and the Office of Mayor Richard M. Daley in Chicago. While serving the City of Chicago, Kate implemented public-private partnerships, created new initiatives to expand access to technology, and streamlined government processes through performance management.
Kate earned a BA from Yale University and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. Kate lives in her hometown of Chicago with her husband and two sons.