Toni Irving, Ph.D., is executive director of Get IN Chicago, a private fund with a public mission. The fund invests in programs for communities hardest hit by poverty and violence, conducts large-scale evaluations, and convenes public and private entities to help make Chicago safer and individual lives better. Previously, Dr. Irving was deputy chief of staff and senior advisor to Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn. She oversaw policy and planning, personnel, legislative and operations issues for public safety and human services agencies with combined budgets of $8 billion. As senior advisor, she advised the governor on minority business and workforce development issues and on strategies to assist poverty- and violence-stricken communities. She oversaw the state’s ARRA-funded transitional jobs program, employing more than 28,000 individuals and inspiring more than 3,000 to return to school.
Prior to her government service, Dr. Irving was a member of the faculty at the University of Notre Dame where she conducted research and teaching on law, literature and social policy. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia; master’s degree from the University of Kent at Canterbury, England, where she was a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar; and Ph.D. from New York University. She is a member of the Points of Light board, Juvenile Justice Leadership Council, The Mead Endowment board, The Wayfarers Club, and The Economic Club of Chicago. In 2011, Dr. Irving received the MacArthur Foundation “Champion for Change” award, recognizing her efforts to reform juvenile justice. Born in Philadelphia, she has resided in Chicago since 2000.