Staff & Board

Our team combines strong data analytics, experience in public education and policy, and community engagement expertise to connect the “grass-tops” with the grassroots, ensuring parent and community voices are heard at the highest levels of decision-making about the direction of Chicago’s PK-12 schools.


Board of Directors

Laura Thonn | CHAIR
Office Managing Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

Daniel Anello
Chief Executive Officer, Kids First Chicago

Mara Botman

Program Director, Vivo Foundation

David Casper
Chairman, BMO Financial Group

Shirley M. Collado, PhD
President & CEO, College Track

Derek Douglas
President, Civic Committee of The Commercial Club of Chicago

Shayne Evans
Founder & Managing Partner, The Academy Group

Thomas J. Formolo
Partner, New Harbor Capital LLC

Sam Ganga
Partner, Digital Strategy & Transformation, KPMG

Cornelia Grumman
Former Director of Education, Robert R. McCormick Foundation

Lilla Guevara
At-Large Representative - Kids First Chicago Parent Advisory Board

Darrel Hackett
U.S. CEO, BMO Financial Group

Philip L. Hildebrandt
Retired CEO, Segall Bryant & Hamill

LeeAndra Khan
Executive Director, EPIC Academy

Maria Owens
Founding Partner, Owens & Robinson Law At-Large Representative, Kids First Chicago Parent Advisory Board

Nichole Pinkard
Associate Professor, Learning Sciences Northwestern University

Penny Bender Sebring
Co-Founder of UChicago Consortium and Senior Research Associate, University of Chicago

Kelly R. Welsh
Former President, Civic Committee of The Commercial Club of Chicago

Melinda Young
Senior Portfolio Manager, Airbnb

Directors Emeritus

Patrick J. Canning
Vice Chairman, Cresset Capital

Lula Ford
Former Educator and Retired Member, Illinois State Board of Education

John W. Madigan
Retired Chairman & CEO, Tribune Company

Nancy S. Searle
Civic Leader

Timothy R. Schwertfeger
Chairman & CEO Emeritus, Nuveen Investments

Join Our Team

We are a team of dedicated individuals who believe that education is the key to a brighter future for all.

Check Out Our Open Positions