Nicola Soares | Kelly
President, Kelly Education
As president of Kelly Education, Nicola Soares is responsible for setting the division’s strategic direction, driving growth, and managing operations. She led the division’s expansion into the early childhood, special needs, and higher education markets, making Kelly Education the largest and most trusted education workforce solutions provider in the US.
Prior to joining Kelly® in 2010, Nicola held positions in product innovation, sales, and marketing with education organizations such as NBC Universal, where she led sales and marketing for the education initiative, NBC Learn, and McGraw-Hill Education. With more than 20 years of experience in education (and as a former educator herself), she believes that all students deserve equitable access to education. She’s also an advocate for student preparedness for the job market, anticipating the needs of employers and connecting students to the future world of work, whether through pathways to professional skill trades or the pursuit of college credentials. To effect change in both equitable access and student preparedness, she works with policy makers and speaks at industry conferences on topics such as the effects of unconscious bias in teaching and how to mitigate them. She also serves as the executive chair for Kelly’s largest internal employee resource group, Leadership in Action (LIA), which began with a focus on women and is now dedicated to helping prepare and develop Kelly leaders of all genders for the global marketplace.
Staffing Industry Analysts recognized Nicola as one of the most influential people in the staffing industry and a Global Power 150 – Women in Staffing leader in 2018 and 2019. She has also been named to the Women Worth Watching list by Profiles in Diversity Journal for her work in building inclusive environments, and she and the Kelly Education team earned the 2019 Michigan Association of College Admissions Counselors Achievement Award for making a meaningful difference in the lives of students through the counselors who advise them on future careers. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Lynchburg in Virginia.