Bela Moté, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Carole Robertson Center for Learning, is an experienced nonprofit executive and early childhood professional who has spent her career supporting early childhood and youth development at the local, national, and international levels through programs, partnerships, and policy development. She is committed to providing high-quality, deeply impactful programs for children, youth, and families whose communities have seen systemic divestment and historic inequities. Before joining the Carole Robertson Center for Learning in 2018, Bela held leadership positions at the YMCA of the USA, the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago, the Ounce of Prevention Fund (now Start Early), Teaching Strategies Gold, and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation. Bela holds a Master of Education from Erikson Institute. She began her career in early childhood education as a Montessori preschool teacher and considers that experience to be her North Star.
Bela is a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children and was appointed in 2021 to the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine’s commission on the opportunity gap for young children. Bela also serves as a gubernatorial appointee to the Illinois Early Learning Council and participates on many other councils and committees across Chicago and Illinois.