Toni Irving, Ph.D., is Executive Director of Get IN Chicago, a private fund with a public mission. The fund invests in programs targeted at acutely high risk youth and convenes public and private organizations 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. Irving oversaw the state’s ARRA funded transitional jobs program employing over 28,000 individuals and inspiring over 3,000 to return to school. Irving also implemented a therapeutic model of care in the department of Juvenile Justice which led to a population decrease of 64% as well as the closure of two state juvenile facilities during her tenure.
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 of Arts degree from the University of Virginia, Master of Arts degree from the University of Kent at Canterbury, England, and Ph.D. from New York University. She is a member of the National Governor’s Association Center for Best Practices, Thrive Leadership Council, Juvenile Justice Leadership Council, Juvenile Justice Commission, 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.