Who's Who of Top Executives

Cathleen M. Knauf

Title: Founder, Director
Company: Southwest Michigan Human Trafficking Task Force
Location: Richland, Michigan, United States

Cathleen M. Knauf, founder and director of the Southwest Michigan Human Trafficking Task Force, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Executives for dedication, achievements, and leadership in special education and human services.

Ms. Knauf has dedicated her career to providing care for others living with emotional, intellectual, and systemic challenges. Born and raised in Frankfurt, Germany, she immigrated to the United States to pursue her education, earning a bachelor’s degree from Grand Valley State University in 1976 and a master’s degree in pre-primary special education from Western Michigan University in 1979. Thereafter, she obtained certifications in mental impairment and emotional impairment from Grand Valley State University. She began her career as a special education teacher for St. Joseph Public Schools from 1979 to 1988 and served as the special education coordinator for Bridgman Public Schools from 1999 to 2009.

In addition to her work in education, Ms. Knauf is the founder of the Southwest Michigan Human Trafficking Task Force, a collaboration between law enforcement, non-governmental organizations, faith-based organizations, and citizens serving Berrien, Van Buren, and Cass counties. She has been a member of Southwest Michigan ALPACT since 2015 and worked as a volunteer liaison for families of deployed Marines with the Alpha Co., 1st Battalion, 24th Marines between 2006 to 2009. Ms. Knauf is a member of the National Association of Professional Women. Above all, her mission is to educate and bring awareness to the communities of Southwestern Michigan about human trafficking and to further develop a plan for a victim-centered approach using a multidisciplinary team.


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