The Chicago Community Trust announces first Latina president and CEO
Andrea Sáenz is the first Latina to lead the 107-year-old organization, and eighth CEO overall.
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Andrea Sáenz has become the first Latina president and CEO of The Chicago Community Trust. Sáenz had previously served as chief operating officer for the foundation, and as the interim president and CEO. She succeeds Dr. Helene Gayle who has resigned to become the president of Spelman College.
“We are thrilled that Andrea has accepted our offer to serve as president and CEO of The Chicago Community Trust. She brings a lifetime commitment to the issues central to the trust, and a solutions-oriented approach that will allow her to build on the incredible foundation of this prestigious institution. We are also grateful that our new leader helped craft the strategic vision the talented trust team is working to make a reality,” Jim Reynolds, the chair of the community foundation’s executive committee, said in a statement.
The Chicago Community Trust is “a community foundation whose strategic focus is on closing the racial and ethnic wealth gap in the Chicago region,” as stated on its website. This community foundation was founded in 1915 by the Harris family and the Harris Trust and Saving Bank.
“As an immigrant from Ecuador who grew up in Los Angeles and came to Chicago as an adult, I have long felt embraced by Chicago and energized by our city’s diversity, cultural vibrancy, and civic commitment,” Sáenz said.
She added, “I was initially drawn to the Trust because of the opportunity to invest in and help support committed leaders and organizations working to improve their communities. Since joining, I’ve been proud to work with colleagues, donors, and partners who have such a deep love and commitment to this city and region, and I look forward to doing all that I can to continue bringing resources and visibility to community-led solutions for our future.”
Sáenz began her career in the social sector by leading Congreso de Latinos Unidos in Philadelphia. She also “led strategy, program design, evaluation, and organizational development for Chicago Public Library,” served as chief of staff to Chicago Public Schools CEO, policy advisor for the U.S. Department of Education Officer of Career, Technical and Adult Education, and executive director of HACE.
Sáenz was named one of Chicago’s Most Powerful Latinos by Crain’s Chicago Business in 2019 on their inaugural list.
She has served on several boards including that of the Albert Pick Jr. Fund, Chicago Public Library Foundation, the American Civil Liberties Union, National Louis University, Chicago Public Education Fund, and Chicago United.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in Latin American Studies from Scripps College and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Pennsylvania.