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Leadership Team

Elisabeth D. Babcock, MCRP, PhD

President and CEO

Elisabeth_BabcockElisabeth Babcock (Beth) is the President and CEO of the Crittenton Women’s Union (CWU), a Boston-based charitable organization dedicated to creating new pathways to economic independence for low-income women and their families. CWU uses its unique “action-tank” business model to provide cutting-edge economic mobility, housing, education, and job-readiness programs to more than 1,400 women and children annually, combined with anti-poverty research, and public advocacy.  Beth’s role as CEO is to lead CWU in its strategy to be a research and innovations powerhouse consistently delivering new programmatic and public policy approaches that expedite pathways out of poverty.

CWU’s applied research led to the development of its groundbreaking Mobility Mentoring ™ platform.  Since its release in 2009, Mobility Mentoring has been nationally recognized for creating significantly improved outcomes in earnings, educational attainment, and family stability in extremely low-income families. Program impact has been so robust that government has advanced application of the model in TAFDC, Housing, and Early Intervention settings, and a community of practice has developed to share the Mobility Mentoring practices nationally.

Beth received her Master’s Degree in City and Regional Planning from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and her Ph.D. in non-profit strategy from Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. She has taught non-profit strategy and implementation at the graduate level for more than two decades at Harvard University, Brandeis University, and the New England Conservatory of Music.

She has received numerous awards including the 2013 World of Difference Award by the International Alliance for Women for her work promoting women’s economic empowerment; 2013 Woman of Influence by the Boston Business Journal; and her most recent publication, “Rethinking Poverty”, published in the fall 2104 Stanford Social Innovation Review, was named one of its top articles of the year.

Mary D. Coleman, PhD

Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer


Mary D. Coleman, PhD joined CWU as its Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer in 2015. In this role, she oversees the majority of CWU’s programs, research, and evaluation and provides senior leadership in the organization’s strategy development and growth.
Mary brings more than 30 years of higher education experience in executing organization goals and overseeing programs and services to CWU. Prior to joining the organization, she served as Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Lesley University, where she focused on strategic planning, developing and implementing initiatives on well-being of faculty and students, high impact advising programs and the Lesley University Initiative on Child Homelessness, which she founded.
Prior to her role as Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Mary held professional positions in higher education, dedicated several years to teaching and developing programs in the civil society sector in Cuba and Palestine, and lectured widely in nations throughout the world, including Luanda, Angola, Bucharest, Romania, Lusaka, Zambia and Azerbaijan.  In 2005-06, she won a prestigious Woodrow Wilson International Scholar’s award for her work on rural poverty.  She is the past recipient of research awards from the National Science Foundation and the Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education.
Mary was a post-doctoral fellow in public policy at the University of Maryland and in liberal arts at the Harvard School of Law. She holds a doctoral degree and a master’s degree in political science from University of Wisconsin-Madison, and bachelor’s degree in political science from Jackson State University. 


Chief Financial Officer


Richard Gair joined CWU as its Chief Financial Officer in 2011. Richard leads the five-member Finance Team and manages the organization's accounting and contract operations, budgeting process, and overall financial strategy. In addition, he oversees CWU's Information Technology systems.

Prior to becoming CWU’s finance head, Richard served as CFO of Revinet, an online ad network optimizer. He began his career at Arthur Andersen and later held positions at The Boston Globe and, moving from Controller–Subsidiaries at the Globe to Director of Finance and Administration and advancing to Vice President and General Manager at

Richard is a certified public accountant and received his BS from Boston College. He has also studied at the graduate level in computer science at Harvard University and taken leadership trainings at Duke University and Dartmouth College.

Ruthie Liberman, MPA

Vice President of Public Policy


As Vice President of Public Policy, Ruthie Liberman directs CWU’s advocacy efforts to shape public policy and achieve social change that will help lift low-income families out of poverty and into the middle class.

Ruthie assumed her current position in 2008, after having administered many of CWU’s programs from 1996 through 2003, and again from 2005-2008. Her hands-on experience invaluably informs her current public policy work. Before joining CWU, Ruthie worked at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Brigham and Women’s Hospital and ran a pediatric and family AIDS program at Dimock Community Health Center for six years.

Her previous public policy experience includes serving as the Director of Public Policy for Planned Parenthood in Los Angeles and a Senate Fellowship in the California Legislature. Ruthie received her bachelor’s degree from Pomona College in Claremont, Calif. and a master’s degree in public administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Catherine MacAulay, MPH, RN

Vice President of Programs and Operations

Charles_CarterCatherine MacAulay oversees CWU’s emergency, transitional, and supportive housing services as well as the Healthy Families program.

Catherine brings more than 30 years of experience to her role, having held key clinical and administrative positions in health care. Prior to joining CWU in 2009, Catherine led its year-long risk management initiative on a consulting basis. From 2001-2006, Catherine served as Executive Director of the Martha Eliot Health Center in Jamaica Plain, Mass. Previously, she held the position of Senior Quality Assurance (QA) Advisor for the University Research Corporation in Bethesda, Md. In this capacity, she advised health ministries and hospitals in Egypt, Russia, Africa, and India on QA methodology. She also worked with WHO’s Global Polio Eradication Initiative. Catherine began her career working in health care in Seattle, Wash.

A registered nurse, Catherine received a master’s degree in public health from the University of Minnesota and both a bachelor of science in nursing degree and a family nurse practitioner degree from Seattle Pacific University.

Katherine Parker

Vice President of Institutional Advancement

Katherine (Kip) Parker provides strategic leadership to generate private philanthropic support for CWU’s programs. Her team is also responsible for marketing and communications efforts to raise awareness about CWU and the challenges low-income women face.
Kip brings more than 20 years of experience securing and providing philanthropic dollars and developing programs to build strong impactful nonprofit organizations. Her background includes working with charitable individuals, board members, volunteers and staff in all areas of fundraising including events, annual campaigns, individual major giving, and foundation and corporate relations. She has also overseen and managed communications, marketing, and branding initiatives. 
Prior to joining CWU, Kip served as Division Director at the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut, where she helped provide a range of philanthropic services, including assisting charitable individuals, organizations, estates and trusts to establish funds as well as identify and evaluate giving opportunities.  
Her previous experience includes development and executive leadership in the nonprofit arena at institutions such as the Boys and Girls Club of Dorchester, Mount Auburn Hospital, The Wellness Community- Greater Boston, and the Arthritis Foundation, Atlanta, GA office. Kip earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut.

Judy Parks

Vice President of Mobility Mentoring® Programs and Services

Judy Parks

As Vice President of Mobility Mentoring® Programs and Services, Judy Parks leads the implementation of CWU’s groundbreaking economic mobility platform both within the organization and in collaboration with external partners.

Judy draws on her 25 years’ experience working to reduce racial, gender, and economic divides at the YWCA Boston. There Judy helped provide low-income women and their families affordable housing and supportive services in increasing positions of responsibility. Her YWCA career culminated in her appointment as Vice President for Real Estate in charge of the redevelopment of the organization’s flagship building in Boston’s Back Bay. She joined CWU March 2009 to operationalize its innovative Career Family Opportunity program, built on its Mobility Mentoring model. She heads up CWU’s economic mobility partnerships with Heading Home and the Cambridge Housing Authority.

Judy is the former chair of the Zoning Board of Appeals in Pembroke, Mass., and holds a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Rhode Island College.

Vice President of Research and Innovation

Are you the next innovator at CWU?


Charles_CarterCWU is seeking a new VP of Research and Innovation to join our team. The Vice President for Research and Evaluation (VPRE) is vital to CWU's capacity to apply findings and use data to create and sustain pathways out of poverty for women and their families. 

The VPRE is thus a strategic force within CWU. The Vice President of Research and Evaluation is key member of the CWU Leadership Team providing the research context for and evaluation of all direct services programs. She/he leads a staff including: Director of Research, Senior Associate, and Project Manager.

Though extensive knowledge and experience are, of course, required, strong character and sense of integrity with a personal history of being highly mission-driven, entrepreneurial, resilient, collaborative, warm, and engaging are paramount.

Could CWU's next innovative Chief Operating Officer be you? Learn more about the position here.



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