Carl Wesley

President and CEO
Center for Self-Sufficiency (CFSS)


Carl Wesley is currently the President and CEO of CFSS, a non-profit agency located in Milwaukee dedicated to transforming the community through supporting individuals, families, and returning citizens. Carl returned to Milwaukee to lead CFSS in 2015 after serving in various increasingly responsible roles at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and University of Wisconsin- Platteville. He was previously the assistant director of P.E.O.P.L.E. (Pre-college Enrichment Opportunity Program for Learning Excellence) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, one of the most comprehensive precollege-through-college programs in the United States. Before his position at UW-Madison, Carl served as Interim Director of Multicultural Educational Resource Center and University Diversity Initiatives, Director of Precollege Programs, and Retention Coordinator. Throughout his professional career, Carl has been instrumental in providing intensive college preparatory, student mentoring, racial identity development training, and retention services to students, staff, faculty, and community members. He has utilized his experience working with youth to develop a unique, organic mentoring model for youth and young adults. Carl has a B.S. in Criminal Justice and two master’s degrees: one in Adult Education and the other in Counseling Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. He also holds a doctorate in Education from Edgewood College in Madison, WI.

Q & A

What has the pandemic taught you about yourself?

I don’t love Technology as much as I thought I did.

What are you reading?

The Sum of US: What Racism Cost Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together (Heather McGhee)

What do you want to be doing in ten years?

Working to promote access to wealth and equity for the people in some of the most abandoned segments of the Milwaukee Community.

Why did you choose to live in your community?

I choose to invest in the community I come from because I believe that it is incumbent upon those who gain access to resources to share those resources with those that have not had or recognized opportunities.

2021 Workforce Innovators