Ali Carella

Senior Consultant

Chicago, IL

Meet Ali, one of our Senior Consultants.


Ali Carella, Ph.D., (she/her) is an experienced Educator and Applied Researcher with roots in the human rights ecosystem at both local and international levels. She has over fifteen years of nonprofit experience. Her approach to helping her clients is characterized by her deep commitment to equity and her ability to help organizations make tangible sense of messy challenges. Her thoughtfulness and comfort with both details and higher-level strategic thinking is evident in how she designs processes related to strategy development, impact measurement, quality assurance, supporting and growing organizational culture, and more.

Prior to joining La Piana, Ali was on staff at the Heartland Alliance in Chicago. Most recently, she served as the Associate Director of Quality and Performance Improvement with Heartland Human Care Services and was previously the Senior Project Manager of Evidence-Based Learning for Heartland’s Social IMPACT Research Center. Ali is highly proficient in Spanish.


Impact Approach

Ali is passionate about working with organizations that work to combat threats to equity and social justice for all. She believes impact is amplified when organizational leaders and staff work collaboratively with community members to discuss challenges and define success. This results in a beautiful reciprocal process that places equity at the center of the conversation.



  • University of Illinois at Chicago, Ph.D. in Education: Literacy, Language & Culture
  • Portland State University, M.Ed. in Secondary, Language Arts
  • University of Barcelona, Spanish Language and Latin American Literature
  • University of Kansas, BA in English and Socio-Cultural Anthropology


Outside of Work

Every moment Ali is not working, she is likely with her incredibly sweet, silly and kind little ones, Nina and Ruby. Ali also enjoys (cannot function without) oat milk matcha lattes, organizing all of the things, reading, exploring art museums, going on walks, and spending time with close friends around a lovely meal.