Loyola University Chicago

Commencement

Toni Preckwinkle

Arrupe College

The Honorable Toni Preckwinkle

President, Cook County Board, Illinois

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle has been a dedicated community leader for over two decades. She has worked with the Cook County Board of Commissioners, elected officials, and county employees to implement major reform and reshape county government through fiscal responsibility, innovative leadership, transparency and accountability, and improved services.

Since taking office in December 2010, Preckwinkle has rebuilt the credibility of county government, addressing over $1.4 billion in budget deficits and cutting $465 million in expenditures. She established the county’s first performance management initiative to demand more accountability from county operations and employees.

Preckwinkle has developed a broad policy agenda, focusing on critical public safety reform, working to strengthen the county’s health care system, and increasing the capacity and capability of our economic development efforts.

She is also president of the Forest Preserves of Cook County (FPCC), a separate governmental body. The FPCC is one of the oldest and largest forest preserve districts in the country, spanning 69,000 acres, which makes up 11 percent of the county’s footprint.

Before being elected Cook County Board president, Preckwinkle served 19 years as alderman of the 4th ward. During her tenure, she worked to improve our local public schools and increase the amount of affordable housing by sponsoring two living-wage and affordable-housing ordinances. Her independent and progressive leadership earned her the IVI-IPO Best Alderman Award six times as well as two Leon Despres Awards.

Prior to holding elected office, Preckwinkle taught high school history for 10 years. She holds a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from the University of Chicago. She is the mother of two and the grandmother of three.