Cara Matteliano

Cara Matteliano is Senior Director, Policy and Strategic Partnerships, at the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. She is responsible for working with external partners to achieve the Community Foundation’s goals of advancing education, racial/ethnic equity, the environment and arts and architecture. Cara focuses on working with partners from philanthropy, government and the community to ensure healthy housing for families and protect children from lead poisoning.

Prior to this, Cara spent 12 years as Vice President of Community Impact, where she was responsible for the creation and management of several locally and nationally recognized initiatives. Cara facilitates the Buffalo and Erie County Lead Safe Task Force created to carry out the recommendations from the Community Lead Plan, an analysis of Buffalo’s lead poisoning data which offered solutions for reform. She brought the national Green & Healthy Homes Initiative to Buffalo, a public/private partnership to improve homes for families living in low-income neighborhoods.

Cara co-chairs the Erie County Complete Count Committee to ensure every resident is counted in the 2020 Census. She also co-chairs Engage New York, a state-wide network of foundation leaders who have adopted an action agenda that advances equity, social justice, civic and community participation to improve the lives of all New Yorkers.

With expertise in grant making and program development, Cara joined the Community Foundation after more than two decades of experience in nonprofit leadership positions. Prior to her work at the Community Foundation, she was the Executive Director of Cradle Beach, a nonprofit facility offering education and respite to children with disabilities and from low-income neighborhoods.

Cara received her B.A. and M.A. in Speech Communication from the University of Maine. She completed executive education courses in governance and leadership at Harvard University. Cara is an ordained Elder at Deerhurst Presbyterian Church and serves on the board of Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center.