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Archdiocese of Chicago Names Cliff Barber Chief Strategy Officer

The former investment management executive will lead archdiocesan strategic initiatives

Chicago, IL (February 9, 2018) – The Archdiocese of Chicago announced today the appointment of Cliff Barber as Chief Strategy Officer, a new position for the Archdiocese. Prior to his appointment, Barber worked on several projects in the impact investing world, including a recently-launched private equity fund that invests in growing companies that create family-supporting jobs in Chicago’s low-income neighborhoods. In his new role, Barber will oversee the strategy development and implementation planning for Archdiocesan initiatives. In particular, Barber will bring senior strategy, planning and organizational leadership to the Archdiocese's Renew My Church (RMC) initiative. 

Launched in 2015, RMC is a multi-year Church renewal initiative in the Archdiocese focused on engaging people in their faith lives, establishing vibrant parishes and schools, and serving others in the community. Barber’s role is to provide additional leadership in this transformative process to ensure it is, at the same time, sensitive to the needs of existing parishioners, but visionary enough to welcome new members to the Church.

“We are happy to welcome Cliff to our team at the Archdiocese of Chicago,” said Betsy Bohlen, Chief Operating Officer for the Archdiocese of Chicago. “Cliff’s senior level strategic guidance and support will be a tremendous asset to the Renew My Church efforts and for the Archdiocese overall.” 

Barber has nearly 30 years of experience as a business management consultant and senior executive. A Chicago native, he spent over 16 years of his career living and working in the United Kingdom. Before getting involved in Chicago-based impact investing projects, Barber was a partner at Toscafund, a London-based hedge fund. Prior to that, he was a management consultant at the Boston Consulting Group and held several senior operating roles in U.K. industry. Barber began his career at Chicago-based Shorebank where he did economic development work in the Austin neighborhood. 

Barber is the author of a recently published report entitled “Creating Viral Impact in Black Communities Through Small Business Expansion” commissioned by the Expanding Black Business Credit Consortium, a Steering Committee of black-led Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) from around the country.   Barber has served as a member of the Archdiocesan School Board since March 2017 and was recently appointed as head of the School Board’s Finance Committee. 

Barber holds a Bachelor of Science in economics from Grinnell College, a General Course degree from the London School of Economics and a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School. He is a member of St. Mary Parish in Evanston where he is a lector and a member of his local Knights of Columbus council.