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Kelby Woodard

President and CEO
Cristo Rey Network 


Before returning to Cristo Rey in 2023, Kelby Woodard served for three years as the Headmaster of Saint Thomas Academy, a Catholic, all-male, military leadership high school in Mendota Heights, MN.  Having previously served as the Founding President at Cristo Rey Dallas College Prep for six years, Woodard has deep experience with the organization’s Catholic, mission-driven work. While successfully establishing Cristo Rey Dallas as a high-performing school enrolling 470 students, he completed a $25 million capital campaign that built a state-of-the-art campus. In 2018, he was elected by peer Cristo Rey school Presidents to the Cristo Rey Network Board, serving two terms in that role.
 
Prior to founding Cristo Rey Dallas in 2014, Woodard was a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives where he was inspired by students from Cristo Rey Jesuit High School - Twin Cities as they testified for an education bill he sponsored. As a State Representative, Woodard advocated for school choice and acted as the Minority Lead for Education Finance & Vice-Chairman of the Public Safety Committee. 

Before his career path guided him into education and public service, Woodard spent 20 years in global security. He served with the US Customs Service in Washington, DC, and then later as the Director of Global Security at Target Corporation, headquartered in Minneapolis, MN. While at Target, he strategically designed and implemented a global security program spanning 84 countries, with 34 US distribution centers. He applied this experience to then become the Founding Partner and small business owner of Trade Innovations/TRG Direct, a global security consulting and import software company focused on designing and implementing global security and fraud prevention programs. 
Woodard has been recognized in publications from Catholic media to World Customs journals. He has held notable board appointments, including Wingstop Charities, Legatus - Dallas Chapter, and Cristo Rey Fort Worth College Prep.
 
Woodard graduated from the University of North Texas with a BS in Criminal Justice. He went on to earn a Certificate of Global Security Studies from Georgetown University and a MBA from the University of Dallas.