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Cris Charbonneau

Vice President, Communications and Marketing


Areas of Expertise: design thinking, cross-sector marketing and communications, community engagement

“My parents immigrated to this country in 1965 with all their possessions in two suitcases and $500 in their pockets. Their sacrifices and hard work ethic to provide my brothers and I greater access to education and opportunities is something I value and feel a great responsibility to extend to others.”

As Vice President of Communications and Marketing for KnowledgeWorks, Cris helps shape and share the KnowledgeWorks story. She has nearly 25 years of experience across private, public and non-profit sectors in communications, marketing, PR/media relations and digital media. She has worked in education to develop school networks and engage families and communities with extensive skills in branding, digital media, change management and crisis communications.

Prior to joining KnowledgeWorks, Cris was appointed to transform communication and outreach for the Wake County Public School System, the 15th largest school system in the nation, as their chief communications officer. Cris launched the Office of Family and Community Engagement, implementing new and innovative ways for the school district to strengthen school-based parental engagement and community partnerships to increase student learning and development. Cris led large-scale, integrated marketing communication efforts across media relations, crisis management, website development, design and social media, launched parent academies and orchestrated community outreach efforts. Cris was also instrumental in the development and implementation of the repositioning of a 20+ year old brand and corporate marketing initiatives at VIF International Education (now Participate) as their director of marketing. There, she most notably created the communications and brand strategy for the Global School Network.

Her career also includes corporate brand and marketing communications roles for companies like Microsoft, Sony Ericsson and AT&T Wireless. She is a national speaker and workshop leader on branding, communications and community engagement. Cris is a native of Portland, Oregon and a proud University of Oregon Duck where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

Located in Cary, North Carolina, a mom of four, Cris serves on the Boards of Wake Education Partnership in Raleigh, N.C., and GoGlobal NC, an international education foundation.