Kelli Rhee is the new president and CEO of the Laura and John Arnold Foundation (LJAF). Rhee first joined LJAF in 2013 when she was hired as director of venture development. She was soon promoted to the position of vice president in which she served for about two years until becoming executive vice president and chief strategy officer of the foundation. Her career before LJAF began in 2000 with a position as an associate consultant at the management consulting firm, Bain & Company. Not long after, she gained the title of senior associate consultant and was then hired and worked concurrently under the same title at the philanthropy and nonprofit consulting firm, the Bridgespan Group. Deciding to continue in the nonprofit sector, Rhee worked briefly as an associate at the Chicago Public Education Fund.
Diving back into the world of business in 2007, Rhee was hired as vice president of Sandbox Industries, a Chicago-based venture capital firm. After working there for three years, she was offered the executive directorship of the Baylor College of Medicine, which she accepted and served as for another three years, becoming known for spearheading the launch of its new academic medical center. Rhee’s own education includes a bachelor’s degree in economics from Northwestern University, a master’s degree in education from Stanford University and finally an MBA from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. With a broad career and education background as well as several years of work already at LJAF, Kelli Rhee will lead the foundation in its mission to help effectively reform the criminal justice, education and health care systems while also seeking to expand access to scientific research. “Kelli has made enormous contributions to our mission and our team, and she embodies the values that are important to each of us,” Laura and John Arnold said. “She is a visionary leader with an extraordinary ability to dissect complex problems and conceive original solutions… We are thrilled that Kelli has accepted this position.”