Elisabeth D. Babcock, MCRP, PhD
President and CEO
Elisabeth 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
RICHARD GAIR, CPA
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 boston.com, moving from Controller–Subsidiaries at the Globe to Director of Finance and Administration and advancing to Vice President and General Manager at boston.com.
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
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.
Vice President of Institutional Advancement
Vice President of Mobility Mentoring® Programs and Services
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.
Deborah Connolly Youngblood, PhD
Vice President of Research and Innovation
Deborah Connolly Youngblood supervises all CWU research and evaluation projects and supports the organization’s new program development and public advocacy.
Deborah joined Crittenton Women's Union in 2007 after spending 10 years conducting community-based research on issues related to low-income families. Her work includes a study of adolescent girls being raised by grandmothers, a study of youth alumni of a residential treatment facility, a study of the relationships between social service providers and clients, and a study of independent living skills programs for foster youth. Deborah is the author of Homeless Mothers: Face to Face with Women and Poverty (Connolly, University of Minnesota Press, 2000) as well as several articles. Her current research at CWU explores best practices for promoting economic independence for homeless and very low-income women and their families.
Deborah holds a doctorate in cultural anthropology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a bachelor’s degree in women’s studies from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.