The Markle Foundation’s Skillful labor-market initiative is gaining a well-known workforce hand as its new strategic head.

Beth Cobert, the former acting director of the Office of Personnel Management, has been appointed as the chief executive offer to oversee Skillful’s data- and technology-driven focus on connecting employers, educators and American workers without a college degree through training and support in preparation for the growth jobs in their local communities. 

Cobert’s additional experience includes stints as deputy director for management and chief performance officer in the Office of Management and Budget, as well as managing organizational strategies, staff recruitment, training and development and other management initiatives in the private sector at McKinsey & Company. She was tapped to lead OPM after the previous director resigned in the wake of a massive database breach that exposed personal information on millions of Americans.

"Beth has a proven track record, both in the public and private sectors, managing large, complex and transformational initiatives," said Markle CEO and President Zoë Baird. "She knows how to bring together diverse stakeholders to create systemic change. She offers unparalleled business acumen and expertise in recruitment, hiring practices and information technology."

Skillful’s efforts, currently centered in Colorado, evaluate an individual’s skillset and empower through prioritizing training pathways and skills-based hiring practices that open the talent pool as automation and artificial intelligence continue to transform jobs.

Cobert will work with Markle to expand Skillful beyond Colorado, identify and develop infrastructure to help the Skillful model achieve sustainability, and pursue federal and state policy changes to promote worker and employer success in the digital economy.

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