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Karen Garibay-Mulattieri

Manager of Education Policy and Research

Karen Garibay-Mulattieri manages the Forum’s Education department. With a focus on birth to third grade issues, the Forum’s education agenda advocates for all Latino and immigrant children to have access to high quality care and education services that are linguistically and culturally responsive in an effort to close the opportunity gap. She manages a team of five who lead efforts in three areas: family and community engagement and capacity building; equitable access and resource distribution; and pre- and in-service educator preparation.

Karen envisions a society where there is multilingualism, cross-cultural understanding, and collaboration worldwide. As far back as she can remember, Karen was taught the value of language and culture from her family. Her grandmother worked to teach her Spanish and helped Karen preserve a connection to her Mexican American heritage. Her father was bilingual and worked in international business, moving Karen and her family to Mexico City and later Seville, Spain. Living abroad allowed her to develop a global view early on.

As a bilingual teacher, she worked with students from many countries and cultures, and learned that creating welcoming environments with culturally relevant curriculum is important in ensuring student success. In her role as principal, program director and later as the ISBE Division Administrator, she advocated for dual language education beginning with early childhood, additive bilingual education, cross cultural studies and the State Seal of Biliteracy.

Prior to joining the Forum, Karen worked for Chicago Public Schools as the Chief Officer for Language and Cultural Education where she directed more than 30 staff members and supervised state and federal programs which included world language, bilingual/ESL education and refugee support and Native American initiatives.

Karen holds an M.A. in School Administration from Concordia University, and a B.A. in Elementary Education from the University of Michigan. Contact Karen via email or phone at (312) 376-1761.

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