Kathleen McLean, MBA, CSW, CDT

DEI Strategist Kathleen McLean


Kathleen McLean is President/CEO of the McLean Collective, a New York State Minority and Women Owned certified firm. Her 25 years of experience encompasses work in higher education, private businesses, New York State Government, non-profits, and the public/private school system. The areas of focus are equity, team building and leadership development. The McLean Collective’s strategic approach utilizes the 4E framework which undergirds her strategic approach to: 

  • Educate – using resources customized for the organization; 
  • Explore – using the Intercultural Effectiveness Scale and other tools as needed that measure how comfortable individuals are around differences;
  • Empower – encouraging organizations to use new tools to transform the culture and challenge the status quo; and
  • Envision – a thorough analysis of your business to chart the optimal course forward.

Kathleen has been an educator at the following institutions of higher learning: The College of St. Rose, Hudson Valley Community College, Schenectady County Community College, Russell Sage College in Troy NY, and SUNY Empire State College as an online instructor for undergraduate and graduate programs.

Kathleen’s work has been recognized with awards such as the Harriet Rifkin Leadership Award (Woman’s Employment Resource Center), Adult Achievers Award (YWCA), Community Star Award (Mission Accomplished), Women Who Mean Business Award (Albany Business Review), Leader in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (Albany Business Review), POWER 50 (Albany Business Review), Resourceful Woman of the Year (YWCA), Woman Who Rocks (United Sisters of New York), Woman of Excellence for Excellence in The Professions (Albany Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce), and Queen of Inspiration (Anuanzeh Association of United Women of The Capital District).

Kathleen received her Master’s Degree in Social Work (Management Concentration) from the State University of New York at Albany, Master’s in Business Administration from the State University of New York at Empire State College and her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Buffalo State College.

In addition, Kathleen serves on the Advisory Board with Mission Accomplished, served on the SUNY Schenectady Foundation Board, co-leads the Capital Region Professional Women of Color Network, served on the Town of Colonie Police Practices Review Committee, served as a foster parent with Albany County Children and Family Services, a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated, serves on the Diversity Executive Leadership Academy Advisory Board, a member of the Forum for Executive Women, and serves on the School of Social Welfare Advisory Committee through the University of Albany and provides mentorship for a multitude of women.

Kathleen has been married to her high school sweetheart for 32 years and they have four children ages 29, 27, 23, and 20. Her motto in life is that she came here to live, love, and lead out loud.

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