Big LIFT: Director of anti-poverty organization to discuss nonprofit career path

Author: Carol Elliott

Ben Reuler will discuss his career as the executive director of anti-poverty nonprofit LIFT-Chicago during his talk “LIFTing People out of Poverty,” 6:30-8 p.m., Feb. 26 in Geddes Hall Auditorium at the University of Notre Dame.

The talk is free and open to the public. Those interested in attending can register online at

LIFT is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping communities find enduring solutions to poverty and achieve economic stability. Since its founding in 1998, the group has assisted an estimated 100,000 people. LIFT trains advocates to work with community members committed to escaping poverty. The advocates help members find jobs, secure housing, advance their education, access public benefits/tax credits, and get connected to vital social services.

A licensed social worker with nearly 15 years of direct service and nonprofit management experience, Reuler leads LIFT’s overall development, strategy and growth in Chicago. He also leads national and regional trainings on topics that include supporting those suffering from severe mental illness, effective goal setting, suicidality and motivational interviewing.

He previously provided mental health assessment and treatment to individuals living on the South Side of Chicago; conducted policy research for the City of Chicago Mayor's Office; worked at a shelter for runaway and homeless teenagers; and spent five years with LifeWorks NW in Portland, Ore., conducting outreach and home visits to families referred by the State of Oregon's Child Welfare Hotline.

In 2007, Reuler received a human rights grant from the University of Chicago to travel to Namibia to support UNICEF with initiatives aimed at combating violence against women and children. He earned his master’s degree from the University of Chicago's School of Social Service Administration and bachelor’s degree in Comparative Sociology from the University of Puget Sound.

Reuler’s talk is part of the annual Making a Living Making a Difference series of discussions and lectures sponsored by a number of Notre Dame programs and centers, including the Mendoza College of Business’ Master of Nonprofit Administration Program and the Notre Dame MBA, as well as the Notre Dame Career Center, the Center for Social Concerns, the Higgins Labor Institute, the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, the Notre Dame Department of Political Science and the Notre Dame Law School.

Making a Living Making a Difference sponsors also will hold a Nonprofit Virtual Career Fair Feb. 26-March 21. Positions will be posted on the GO IRISH website at

For more information, contact Cynthia Proffitt, assistant director of Notre Dame MBA Career Development, at (574) 631- 2843 or