Bela Mote

Leadership & Staff

Bela Moté

President & CEO

Bela Moté, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Carole Robertson Center for Learning, is an experienced nonprofit executive 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, Start Early, 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 serves on many local and statewide committees and councils to advance early childhood education and youth development. Bela is a gubernatorial appointee to the Illinois Early Learning Council and in 2023 she was appointed by Governor Pritzker to chair the transition advisory committee for a new unified state agency dedicated to early childhood care and education. Bela co-authored a groundbreaking 2023 report, Exploring the Opportunity Gap for Young Children from Birth to Age Eight, published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. In addition to this seminal report, Bela has written essays, op-eds, and presented on various facets of early childhood and youth development to raise awareness and investments for our nation’s youngest learners.

When Bela isn’t immersed in the world of Carole Robertson Center, she’s enjoying time with her family in Chicago, the city she calls home.

Empower Learning By Getting Involved

There are many ways to contribute to early childhood and youth development at the Center.

Find Out How to Get Involved

Since 1976, the Carole Robertson Center for Learning has been dedicated to educating, enriching, and empowering children and families through comprehensive child and family development programs.