Ms. Steans currently serves as Executive Director of Advance Illinois, an independent statewide education policy and advocacy organization dedicated to ensuring that Illinois provides a world-class education to every student. Ms. Steans has spent the last nineteen years working on public school reform. She has served as Issues Director of the Small Schools Coalition and as Associate Director of Leadership for Quality Education. Ms. Steans taught at public high schools in Boston, San Francisco and Chicago before going on to earn her law degree.

Ms. Steans serves as a Director of the Annenberg Institute for School Reform and on the Advisory Board of the Community-based Service Learning Center at DePaul University. She is co-founder and past Board Chair of the Celiac Disease Center at the University of Chicago. Ms. Steans helped found and serves as a Director of North Lawndale College Preparatory Charter High School and has served on two Local School Councils. She is a Director of Ingenuity, a nonprofit dedicated to ensuring that the arts are part of every Chicago Public School students’ education. Finally, Ms. Steans is an active trustee of the Steans Family Foundation, where she helps guide education and community development grant-making in the North Lawndale community.

Ms. Steans graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude from Brown University, received her Masters degree in Education from Stanford University, and attended law school at the University of Chicago, where she graduated cum laude and Order of the Coif. She is married and has three children, all of whom attend or graduated from Chicago Public Schools.

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