Cara Willis is the Director of Communications at Opportunity Nation, leading the campaign’s efforts to make economic opportunity a central part of the national dialogue. Cara also directs all of the campaign’s major events, including the National Opportunity Summit.
Cara develops Opportunity Nation’s communications and marketing strategies for the Opportunity Index, a unique measure of a region’s economic, educational and civic health at the community level. Her efforts this past year resulted in over 1.5 billion media impressions, including NBC’s Today Show, FOX News, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and US News and World Reports.
Since joining Opportunity Nation in 2011, Cara has led on the strategy and execution of Opportunity Nation’s national summits. These unique events bring together hundreds of leaders and representatives of nonprofits, businesses and institutions from across the country. Past summit speakers include Dr. Fareed Zakaria, Pastor Rick Warren, Angela Glover Blackwell, Arianna Huffington, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, tennis star Serena Williams, Governor Deval Patrick (D-MA), and Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) among many others.
Cara was recognized by the South by Southwest Interactive Festival as one of five recipients worldwide of the 2014 SXSW Interactive Scholarship Award for using new media to tackle community problems; specifically for her work on the Opportunity Index.
Previously, Cara worked for Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Alan Khazei’s US Senate campaign. Cara graduated magna cum laude from Boston University where she majored in Political Science and History and was the recipient of the Herbert and Mary Greig Scholarship for Distinction in American History and the Promotion of Civic Responsibility as American Citizens.
Cara’s three loves in life are politics, dance and her pets (a dog named Copley and a cat named Bella). In her free time she can be found dancing and is the former coach of a college dance team. Read blog posts by Cara Willis.