As CEO of Skillful, Beth Cobert employs her extensive experience in talent management and partnership development, as well as her acumen for harnessing the constructive potential of new technologies.
Since her appointment as the organization's CEO in April 2017, Beth has drawn upon her skills as a seasoned and collaborative leader by working in partnership with others to evolve and expand the program and deliver results.
Prior to Skillful, Beth honed her leadership skills as Acting Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) under President Obama. Under Beth's direction, OPM embraced new technology to improve customer service and cyber security and championed recruiting, development, and advancement practices to support a talented and diverse federal workforce. Before her time at OPM, Beth served as the Deputy Director for Management at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
Beth began her career at McKinsey & Company, where she became a Senior Partner and worked with clients across a range of sectors, including financial services, healthcare, real estate, telecommunications, and philanthropy.
Beth is a member of the Board of Directors of CBRE Group, Inc. and the Princeton University Board of Trustees. She received a bachelor's degree in economics from Princeton University and a master's in business administration from Stanford University.
Faiza Issa brings a wealth of strategic skills and business knowledge to her role as Director of Skillful. Faiza leads national programs and partnerships at Skillful's headquarters in New York where she helps lead the national expansion of Skillful through newly-developed tools and programs.
Faiza's career prior to joining Skillful equipped her with a deep understanding of the need for effective stakeholder relationships reflecting a wide range of perspectives. At New York City's Department of Small Business Services and the New York City Economic Development Corp., she led efforts to support entrepreneurship in New York City, aligning stakeholders to facilitate public-private partnerships and recommending a regulatory approach to flexible economic development policies.
Her tenure at the Council on Foreign Relations as a Research Associate and at Goldman Sachs as a Financial Analyst helped her hone her strategic and analytic skills. Faiza affirmed her commitment to the public good as a graduate of the NYU School of Law and the Harvard Kennedy School.
Katy Hamilton is a Director at Skillful, where her leadership style combines critical and innovative thinking with a focus on fostering relationships with her team and external partners. As Skillful looks to expand nationally, Katy is applying her extensive education, workforce development, and partnership building experience to lead the process that will ultimately result in identifying and launching the second Skillful state.
Prior to Skillful, Katy worked at the Partnership for New York City, an organization that represents the city's business leadership and its largest private sector employers. As Vice President of Education and Workforce, Katy was loaned to the New York City Department of Education to deepen employer engagement with the city's Career and Technical Education schools.
Katy began her career in 2007 as Legislative Liaison in the Office of Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius.
As Director of Skillful Colorado, Joe Barela oversees Skillful’s Coaching and Data Initiatives.
Since joining Skillful in late 2017, Joe and his team have overseen the launch of Skillful's Coaching Initiative's two programs: the Governor's Coaching Corps and the Coaching Community of Practice. In his work on Skillful's Data Initiative, Joe and his team seek to increase educational and workforce data transparency and accessibility so that the entire workforce ecosystem can make high-quality, data-driven decisions.
Prior to Skillful, Joe worked as Workforce Director at Arapahoe/Douglas Works! Workforce Center (ADWorks!) for 12 years, where he oversaw a staff of more than 100. While at ADWorks!, Joe served the U.S. Department of Labor in 2015 as a Senior Advisor; he helped coordinate the U.S. Department of Labor's implementation of the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA) at state and local levels.
Joe is a graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder. He furthered his skillset by obtaining two certificates: in 2007, he completed the University of Colorado at Boulder's Executive Development Program, and in 2014, he finished the Fels Institute of Government at the University of Pennsylvania's Workforce Leadership Development Program.