Esteban Kelly is Executive Director of the U.S. Federation of Worker Co-ops (USFWC) and a co-founder and the first board President of the cross-sector Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance (PACA).
Esteban is a visionary leader and compassionate strategist who inspires organizers by drawing on science fiction, social theory and collective liberation. Esteban has been a professional facilitator for more than 20 years, harnessing creative energy and organizational skills to advance food sovereignty, solidarity economy and cooperative business, gender justice and queer liberation, and movements for racial justice. In that vein, he co-founded AORTA (Anti-Oppression Resource & Training Alliance), a worker co-op devoted to strengthening movements for social justice and a solidarity economy by building the capacity of leaders, projects, co-ops and other value-aligned organizations through education, facilitation and consulting.
Formally introduced to cooperatives as an undergraduate in the student housing co-ops at UC Berkeley, Esteban soon began organizing co-ops across Canada and the U.S. with the North American Students of Cooperation (NASCO). He was inducted into NASCO’s Cooperative Hall of Fame in 2011 in recognition of his ten years of service—including seven years on their board and three years working as their Director of Education and Training.
Esteban previously worked as Development Director and then Staff Director for the New Economy Coalition (formerly the think-tank known as the New Economics Institute). From 2009 – 2011, Esteban served as Vice President of the USFWC and a board member of the Democracy At Work Institute (DAWI). He was also on the boards of the Cooperative Development Foundation (CDF) and the U.S. Solidarity Economy Network (SEN). He has served on the board of NCBA CLUSA since 2011 and is an advisor to the international network of artist-activist trainers, Beautiful Trouble.