Prairie State Wire

Prairie State Wire

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

ILLINOIS GOVERNOR'S OFFICE: Gov. Pritzker Announces Nine Appointments to State Boards and Commissions

State Government

By Press release submission | Nov 22, 2019


Illinois Governor's Office issued the following announcement on Nov. 15.

Building on a strong team of diverse experts in their fields, Governor JB Pritzker announced the following appointments in his administration:



Representative Jonathan Carroll will serve on the Guardianship and Advocacy Commission.* Rep. Carroll currently serves the 57th district in the Illinois House of Representatives. In addition to his work as a state representative, Carroll helps individuals with various cognitive challenges like ADHD meet personal, professional and educational goals. As a certified Special Education teacher, he has been helping individuals his whole career. Carroll currently serves on the Health and Human Services Committee for the Council of State Governments and as a member of the Council for Exceptional Children. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in communications from DePaul University and Master of Arts in learning disabilities from Northeastern Illinois University.


Mary Kennelly will serve on the Guardianship and Advocacy Commission.* Kennelly previously served as special education teacher for 17 years at Jacksonville School District 117. In addition, she previously worked as a deaf and blind specialist for the Phillip J. Rock Center, as a special education teacher for Four Rivers Special Education District and the City of Chicago School District 299, and as a work activities instructor for the Proviso Association of Retarded Citizens. Currently, Kennelly volunteers with organizations such as the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum, Lincoln Land Adult Literacy Program and the Illinois State Fair. Kennelly earned her Bachelor of Arts from MacMurray College and her Master's in special education and training from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.



Peter Neumer will serve as Inspector General at the Illinois Department of Human Services.* Neumer has spent the last nine years in the City of Chicago Office of the Inspector General, currently serving as Senior Assistant Inspector General. Previously, he worked as Clerk to the Honorable Charles Norgle of the Northern District of Illinois and as a Commercial Litigation Associate for Perkins Coie. Neumer is a member of the Chicago Bar Association. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in political science from St. Paul University and Juris Doctor from Northwestern University School of Law.



Shawn Donnelley will serve on the Board of Trustees for the Lincoln Academy of Illinois. Donnelley is President of Strategic Giving, a Chicago based firm providing consultation on philanthropy. She is a member of the executive committee of The Chicago Community Trust as well as a Guild Fellow of Corpus Christi College, University of Cambridge and on the boards of the Art Institute of Chicago, Northwestern Memorial Foundation and American Associates of the National Theatre and is also a past chairman and current life trustee of the Goodman Theatre. Her honors include Oprah Winfrey's Angel Network Award, Today's Chicago Woman one of 100 Women Making a Difference in Chicago and Outstanding Individual Philanthropist, Treasure Coast Association of Fundraising Professionals. In 2008 she was selected as one of Crain's Chicago Business 40 Under 40. A member of the Economic Club of Chicago and The Commercial Club of Chicago, she previously served 10 years on the boards of United States Artists and Loyola University New Orleans. Donnelley is the former head of political affairs for R.R. Donnelley. She received a B.A. from Loyola University New Orleans and an M.A. from Emerson College.


J'Tia Hart will serve on the Board of Trustees for the Lincoln Academy of Illinois. Hart has spent her career working within the Department of Energy complex, including collaboration with Lawrence Livermore National Lab, Sandia National Laboratories and Idaho National Laboratory. Her research area spans energy economics, systems analysis, nonproliferation and modeling of nuclear systems. She currently leads a portfolio of research and analysis for Argonne National Laboratory, a Department of Energy research and development center with an emphasis on the nuclear fuel cycle. In addition to her professional activities, Hart serves in organizations such as City Year Chicago, The Girl Scouts of America, Women in Science & Technology, American Nuclear Society and the Society of Women Engineers. Hart holds a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, as well as an M.S in Nuclear Engineering and a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from the FAMU/FSU College of Engineering.


Howard Learner will serve on the Board of Trustees for the Lincoln Academy of Illinois. Learner currently works as a public interest litigation attorney, serving as the President and Executive Director of the Environmental Law & Policy Center. Learner founded the ELPC in 1993 as an entrepreneurial start-up following his work as the General Counsel for Business and Professional People for the Public Interest. Learner began his legal career as a civil rights attorney focusing on housing issues, neighborhood revitalization and advancing economic inclusion. He served as a Senior Advisor for Energy and Environmental Issues for President Barack Obama in his 2008 presidential campaign. Learner serves as Vice Chair of the National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology (NACEPT), Treasurer of the Cook County Forest Preserves Foundation and on the Board of Directors of Citizens Action/Illinois. He has served on the Illinois Executive Ethics Commission, Executive Committee of the Board of the Environmental Law Institute, Board of Directors of the American Council on Renewable Energy and Board and Chair of the Grantmaking Committee of the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation. Learner received his J.D. from Harvard Law School and B.A. from the University of Michigan. He is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Michigan Law School and Northwestern University Law School.


Jessica Malkin will serve on the Board of Trustees for the Lincoln Academy of Illinois. Malkin is the CEO of Chicago Ideas, overseeing the creation of the annual program and the development of the organization's long term strategy. In conjunction with Chicago Ideas Week, Malkin leads the creation and development of the Bluhm/Helfand Social Innovation Fellowship that received over 250 entries from around the world and awarded five fellows an opportunity to present to other thought leaders, have meaningful meetings with business leaders and provided them with a non-discretionary gift of $10,000 each to be used towards their organizational goals. Prior to joining CIW, she led new business development and campaign creation for an award-winning New York City boutique consultancy that specialized in corporate and social responsibility programming. She is a graduate of American University.


Maria del Socorro Pesqueira will serve on the Board of Trustees for the Lincoln Academy of Illinois. Maria del Socorro Pesqueira has served as President of the Healthy Communities Foundation since May 2017. The Foundation's mission is to improve the health and well-being of individuals, families and communities in over 20 communities in western Cook County by promoting health equity, quality and access. Previously, she served as President of Mujeres Latinas en Accion and also led the National Museum of Mexican Art's Development and Marketing team. Her civic and community involvement includes appointments to the United States Congressional Commission for a National Women's History Museum, Illinois Children and Family Services Advisory Commission, Illinois Partners for Human Services, Community Memorial Foundation, Aetna Medical Advisory Board and the Chicago Network. Pesqueira awards include being named a Chicago Community Trust Fellow in 2015, 1 of 50 Women of Influence by Chicago Business Journal in 2016, the Excellence in Community Service award by MALDEF in 2015, the Making a Difference Award by Chicago Women in Philanthropy in 2013, selected to AJC Project Israel Interchange for National Latino Opinion and Policy Leaders in 2016 and named on Crain's Chicago Business 40 Under 40 list. She graduated from Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government Executive Program. Pesqueira earned her MBA in Non-Profit Management from St. Thomas University and Bachelor of Arts from DePaul University in Latin Studies.


Smita Shah will serve on the Board of Trustees for the Lincoln Academy of Illinois. Shah is the founder and CEO of SPAAN Tech, Inc., an engineering and construction management firm. She was selected by Crain's Chicago Business as one of Chicago's 40 under 40 in 2008. In 2009, Ernst and Young recognized Ms. Shah as an Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist and she received the Entrepreneur Award from the Lake County, Illinois YWCA in 2013. Most recently, Shah was named the Small Business Administration 2014 8(a) Graduate of the Year Award. She received the Congressionally recognized Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 2007, honoring those "who changed the fabric of America." Shah has served as the Chairman of the Delhi-Chicago Sister Cities Committee, where she led a trade mission to India with the mayor to promote economic, cultural and social exchanges between the cities, and recently hosted an event honoring Mahatma Gandhi. Shah is a member of the M.I.T. Corporation Development Council, board member of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation, Vice Chairman of the Chicago Plan Commission, Vice Chairman of the Regents for Loyola University of Chicago, trustee at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago and as Vice President of the President's Council at the Museum of Science and Industry. Shah earned her Bachelor of Science from Northwestern University and completed her Master of Science at M.I.T. In addition, she holds a Certificate in Management Studies from Oxford University.


* Appointments pending confirmation by the Illinois Senate.

Original source can be found here.

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