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Ben L. Callif

Vice President - Strategy & Culture

As the VP for Strategy & Culture, Ben has spearheaded major initiatives at Bader Philanthropies, like a total redesign of the grants process and impact measurement system, the Foundation-wide rollout of a shared strategic framework, and the development of the Foundation’s refreshed mission, values, and practices. He is also the principal architect of the Bader Leadership Institute, which has expanded the mission of Bader Philanthropies into the leadership development space.

As a scientist, life coach, philosopher, and author, he brings a diverse background and unique approach to his work at the Foundation. Prior to joining Bader Philanthropies, he worked as a neuroscientist and published peer-reviewed papers on topics such as spinal cord injury, circadian rhythms, gene editing, and epigenetics. After writing his thesis, he published a book on the relationship between inheritance, biology, and mindset and started a life coaching business that would take him from academia to the nonprofit sector.

Ben is also a certified facilitator for the personal and organizational development framework known as the Outward Mindset—he has trained over 400 Milwaukee leaders in this methodology. In addition, he is the CFO for the local clothing retailer Economy Studio and the Vice President of the HIR Wellness Institute Board of Directors, a nonprofit focused on integrating indigenous knowledge and practices into mental health care.

Ben received his first Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and Philosophy from Excelsior College at the age of 19, a second Bachelor of Science degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, a Master of Science degree in Neuroscience from Marquette University, and a Master of Arts degree in Philanthropic Studies from Indiana University.