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Jobi Cates

Midwest Program Officer

Jobi Cates is an advocate and consultant who has spent 25 years building programs, organizations and campaigns that benefit kids in Illinois.  From 2008 through 2014, Jobi was the Senior Director of the Chicago and Midwest Regional Office of Human Rights Watch (HRW). In her role there, she led the legislative and communications efforts of a broad-based coalition to end the practice of sentencing children who commit serious crimes to “life without parole.” That effort became the basis for a new civic organization, Restore Justice Illinois, of which Jobi now serves as President. 

Previous consulting clients include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), the Boeing Company, and the Chicago Community Trust (Community Schools Initiative).

Jobi has extensive non-profit leadership experience.  She has served as Vice President of Communications at the National Association of Charter School Authorizers, Executive Director of the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health, Executive Director of the Mayer and Morris Kaplan Family Foundation, and is a member of the Board of Directors of Housing Opportunities for Women.

A graduate of Northwestern University’s School of Education and Social Policy, Jobi, still a resident of Evanston, Illinois, is the mother of two children and an avid crafter.