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City Colleges of Chicago Board of Trustees

Walter E. Massey, Ph.D., Chair                   
Walter Massey is President Emeritus of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), where he served as President from 2010-2016.  He is also Chairman of the Giant Magellan Telescope Organization, responsible for guiding the construction of the world’s largest optical telescope. Massey began his career as a physicist at leading research universities, including the University of Illinois, Brown, and the University of Chicago, before his appointment as Director of Argonne National Laboratory and then as Director of the National Science Foundation under President George H.W. Bush. In 1995 Massey returned to Morehouse College, his alma mater, where he was President for over a decade. Massey is a former Director of the McDonald’s Corporation, and former Chairman of Bank of America. He has also served on the boards of numerous non-profit organizations, including the Mellon Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, and the Smithsonian Institution and has received honorary degrees from 41 universities, including Harvard, Yale, Northwestern, Columbia, and Brown.  ​            
Elizabeth ​Swanson, Vice Chair                   
Beth is CEO of A Better Chicago, a venture philanthropy fund changing how Chicago fights poverty by investing in bold ideas that create opportunity for our youth. It harnesses best practices from the public and private sectors to find, fund and scale initiatives that have the greatest potential to drive impact and improve educational outcomes for all students.

Beth joined A Better Chicago from the Joyce Foundation, a nonpartisan private foundation that invests in public policies and strategies to advance racial equity and economic mobility for the next generation in the Great Lakes region.  As vice president of strategy and programs, Beth oversaw an annual grant portfolio of $50 million, provided strategic direction to all programs and drove foundation-wide innovation initiatives.     
Before joining Joyce, Beth served as Deputy for Education in the administration of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, working collaboratively with education and community leaders to define the city’s education policy agenda from birth through college. She served as the Mayor’s point person in expanding early learning opportunities, achieving a full school day, br​inging quality school options to families and launching the city's Summer of Learning initiative.  Beth also worked closely with Chicago’s business community to ensure that City Colleges of Chicago, a network of seven community colleges, helped students learn skills relevant to the local job market.       

Beth had previously served as Executive Director of the Pritzker Traubert Family Foundation, and worked for Chicago Public Schools with CEO Arne Duncan, serving as Director of the Office of Extended Learning Opportunities and then leading the District’s Office of Management and Budget.     
Beth is Board Chair for Thrive Chicago, a collective impact initiative working to align efforts by service providers, city agencies and funders to help children succeed from cradle to career. She was appointed by Governor Rauner to the Illinois P-20 Council, and serves on the boards of the Chicago Public Education Fund and One Million Degrees. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English and American Studies from Amherst College, and a master's in Public Policy from the University of Chicago. Beth, her husband, and their three children live on Chicago’s North Side.      
Peggy A. Davis, Trustee      
Peggy A. Davis is vice president of community impact for The Chicago Community Trust, responsible for programmatic leadership and grant making that reflect the organization’s commitment to service. In this role, she provides leadership integrating services to better connect donors with expertise and local knowledge to power more meaningful philanthropy.      

Davis joined the Trust as a talented leader and a legal professional with a range of experience across the private, public and nonprofit sectors. Most recently she served as executive director for the Chicago Committee, a membership organization advancing racial and ethnic diversity in the legal profession. Prior roles include general counsel for the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority in Chicago, vice president for diversity and staffing at Exelon Corporation, trustee of the CPS Board of Education and chief of staff to former Chicago Public Schools CEO and current U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan. Davis is also a former partner at Winston & Strawn LLP.      
Clarisol Duque, Secretary        
Clarisol Duque is the Chicago Chief of Staff for U.S. Senator Richard J. Durbin. As Chief of Staff, 
Clarisol serves constituents in northeastern Illinois, which includes Chicago and the six collar-county region that totals more than 8 million people. She manages all aspects of Sen. Durbin’s Chicago office operation, including: reaching out to local units of government; communicating with community-based organizations; helping local businesses and cultural institutions; aiding advocacy groups; and partnering with elected officials at all levels of government to serve the needs of their community.  
In 2001 Senator Durbin authored and first introduced the DREAM Act and has since reintroduced the bill in every session of Congress, working tirelessly for its passage. Clarisol has dedicated much of her career to supporting Senator Durbin’s efforts to pass the DREAM Act. She has worked on the DREAM Act since before it was introduced in Congress.  
In addition to serving as a community advocate in her professional life, Clarisol is on the Board of Directors for the Big Shoulders Fund, the largest scholarship provider in Chicago. It partners with dedicated individuals, families, foundations and corporations to ensure that deserving children have access to a safe and an effective education. Since its inception, Big Shoulders has provided scholarships to deserving inner-city students. There are more than 60 types of scholarships, depending on need and available resources.  
Clarisol is a member of the City Colleges of Chicago Board of Trustees, where she serves as Secretary of the Board and the Chair of the Finance and Administrative Services Committee. The City Colleges of Chicago is one of the largest community college systems in the nation, serving more than 80,000 students annually at seven colleges and six satellite sites. In 2015 the City Colleges Board of Trustees and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel created the Star Scholarship which provides free tuition to Chicago Public School students who graduate high school with a B average or higher. The Star Scholarship is the only known community college scholarship that provides full scholarships to Dreamers.  

She was recently featured as one of Chicago’s 19 Top Latina Leaders in Philanthropy and Government by Make It Better Magazine. Clarisol has received the Public Service Award from the Office of the Secretary of State Jesse White. She has also been featured in Negocios Now: Latinos 40 Under 40; the Mexican Civic Society of Illinois honored her with the “Dama Azteca Award”; and she was the recipient of the Erie Neighborhood House Next Generation Award. 

A Chicago native, Clarisol was born and raised in the Humboldt Park neighborhood. She is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is the daughter of Mexican immigrants who were previously undocumented. She has run eight marathons including the 2018 Boston Marathon. She currently resides in Chicago with her husband Omar and two young children.            
Karen Kent, Trustee                      
​Karen Kent is the President of UNITE HERE Local 1, Chicago’s hospitality worker’s union. During her tenure with Local 1, Karen has helped the union secure significant victories on behalf of working people in Chicago including negotiating the first training fund to assist hotel workers improve their skills, earn promotions, and staff Chicago’s hospitality industry. Most recently, Karen led the effort to protect hotel workers from sexual assault, with the introduction and passage of the “Hands Off Pants On” ordinance.  Chicago’s leadership on this ordinance has been held up as an example around the country. 

In the last decade, UNITE HERE has organized thousands of new workers into the union and doubled wages for hotel housekeepers and other workers in Chicago’s hospitality industry. 

Karen serves on the Executive Board of the Chicago Federation of Labor and as trustee on UNITEHERE’s Health and Welfare Fund. She earned a BA in Political Science at the University of New Hampshire, and learned to speak Spanish at the Foothill Community College in California. She has served as a Trustee of the City Colleges of Chicago Board of Trustees since 2015.

Deborah H. Telman, Trustee      
Deborah H. Telman is Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc., a leading immunotherapy and non-opioid pain management company.  Ms. Telman is responsible for leading Sorrento’s legal, intellectual property, compliance, human resource and quality functions. Ms. Telman also serves as Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Scilex Pharmaceuticals.  

Before joining Sorrento, Ms. Telman served as a senior executive at several global public companies, including Abbott Laboratories where she was the Divisional Vice President and Associate General Counsel for the International Legal Operations responsible for all commercial legal activity around the globe. During her time at Abbott, Ms. Telman also led the successful spin and separation of AbbVie. Previously Ms. Telman was Vice President and General Counsel at Johnson Controls North America, Chief Counsel Mergers & Acquisitions for The Boeing Company and Partner at Winston & Strawn. 
In 2016, Telman received the Transformative Leadership Award by Inside Counsel and has been recognized as one of the Most Influential Black Lawyers by Savoy Magazine (2015).  She was a Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow and the recipient of the Alta May Hulett Award (Chicago Bar Association).       
In addition to her career as an attorney, Telman is currently involved in a number of civic organizations, including Bright Star Community Outreach TURN Center, a new community outreach center in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood that helps families, and young people in particular, deal with the trauma of violence in their community;  Harriet’s Daughters, a Chicago-founded non-profit focused on professional advancement and economic opportunity for African Americans and Chicago Humanities Festival.  Telman is a former board member of the Illinois Housing Development Authority and the Chicago Bar Association Foundation.       
Deborah received her J.D. at Boston University and her B.A. in Mathematics from the University of Pennsylvania. Telman lives in the Hyde Park neighborhood with her husband, Nigel, a Partner at Proskauer Rose LLP and twin sons, Nigel, II and Nicholas.  
Darrell A. Williams, Trustee      
Darrell A. Williams is a Managing Partner of Loop Capital Principal Investments LLC (“LCPI”), an affiliate of Loop Capital that executes and manages acquisitions and private investments of middle market and lower middle market companies.  Prior to the establishment of LCPI, he has served in various positions of management responsibility with Loop Capital Markets, a full-service investment bank, brokerage and advisory firm, as well as with affiliated entities. Darrell brings to Loop over 30 years of deal execution and advisory experience for entities ranging from start-ups to successful publicly traded companies in a broad array of industries.  Darrell has executed transactions at every level of the capital structure with particular expertise in private transactions (mergers, acquisitions and divestitures, private placements and business valuations).        
Prior to joining Loop, Darrell was Founder and Managing Member of DuSable Capital LLC, a financial investment and advisory practice targeting growth-oriented companies and the organizations (private equity funds, business development groups, etc.) that support them.  As part of those activities, Darrell was a member of the board of directors of Intrado Inc. (formerly NASDAQ:TRDO), the premier provider of operations support systems, software and services for mission critical public safety communications.  Darrell served Intrado shareholders as an independent director, as chairman of the Company’s audit committee and as a member of the compensation committee.  Darrell currently serves on the board of directors of Amalgamated Bank of Chicago.  

Before founding DuSable, Darrell was Chief Investment Officer of the Washington DC based Telecommunications Development Fund (“TDF”).  There, Darrell established an early stage communications-focused investment strategy and led a staff of four investment professionals in the execution and management of start-up investments.  Darrell came to TDF from Ameritech Development Corporation (“ADC”), a subsidiary organization that executed strategic investment, acquisition and divestiture services on behalf of its parent company Ameritech Corporation.  As Vice President of Venture Capital, he executed, managed and successfully liquidated early stage venture capital investments in an array of telecom-related businesses.  Before focusing on venture capital, Darrell executed divestitures, acquisitions and other strategic transactions related to telecommunications infrastructure. Through these roles, Darrell served on the boards of directors of 12 early stage companies. 

Prior to joining ADC, Darrell worked in the Mergers & Acquisitions Department at the First National Bank of Chicago where he executed middle market M&A assignments in a wide range of industries including food ingredients, plastic injection molding and packaging.  Darrell began his career as a Corporate Finance Associate at Dean Witter Reynolds Inc.  While at Dean Witter, Darrell worked on both public offerings and private placements of debt and equity securities for companies in the recreation, banking, retail credit card and energy industries.      

Darrell holds a Bachelor of Science degree from DePaul University’s College of Commerce and a Master of Business Administration degree from the Harvard University Graduate School of Business.      
In addition to his many business involvements, Darrell is active in community service.  In addition to the Board of Trustees for the City Colleges of Chicago, Darrell serves on the Chicago Board of Directors for OneGoal (, an organization dedicated to providing Chicago Public School students with the resources needed for college success. Darrell also serves on the Board of Directors of the Chicago Center for Arts and Technology ( and the Advisory Board of the Coleman Entrepreneurship Center at DePaul University.  Darrell is an active member of St. James African Methodist Episcopal Church and a Life Member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated.  A native Chicagoan, Darrell lives on the South Side with spouse Allison Grant.  ​​​ 
Armani Alexander, Student Trustee   
Armani Alexander is a current second-year dental hygiene student at Malcolm X College, an OMD Scholar, a Year Up Chicago alumnus, a Phi Theta Kappa honor society member, and the founder of the Malcolm X College dental hygiene club. He has served as a member of the student government association at Kennedy-King College during the past two academic years and is passionate about connecting with others in his school community. He plans to take what he’s learned to benefit students across the City Colleges of Chicago. He hopes to pursue dentistry in the future.