Board members of the Chicago Community Trust (the Trust) showcased the organization’s bench strength by selecting Andrea Sáenz as the eighth president and chief executive officer.
Sáenz will be the institution’s first Latinx leader. She most recently was chief operating officer and interim president and CEO of the Trust. She was a member of the leadership team at the Trust that established the 10-year strategic plan to address economic inequity.
She succeeds Helene Gayle, M.D, who left the Trust to become president of Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia.
Sáenz previously led strategy, program design, evaluation, and organizational development for Chicago Public Library, a system of more than 80 neighborhood branches. Before joining the library, Sáenz was chief of staff at the Chicago Public Schools and policy advisor for the U.S. Department of Education Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education. She also served as executive director of HACE, the national nonprofit working collaboratively with employers, universities, and schools to increase Latinx entry and success in professional careers.
Sáenz began her social sector career leading community-based adult education and workforce development services at Congreso de Latinos Unidos in Philadelphia.
The Trust’s officials announced in 2019 the focus on discretionary spending over the next decade on working to close Chicago’s growing racial and ethnic wealth gap. The work is happening alongside the Trust’s foundational work to address critical needs and connect philanthropy to impact.
“As an immigrant from Ecuador who grew up in Los Angeles and came to Chicago as an adult, I have long felt embraced by Chicago and energized by our city’s diversity, cultural vibrancy, and civic commitment,” Sáenz, said via a statement. “I was initially drawn to the Trust because of the opportunity to invest in and help support committed leaders and organizations working to improve their communities. Since joining, I’ve been proud to work with colleagues, donors, and partners who have such a deep love and commitment to this City and region, and I look forward to doing all that I can to continue bringing resources and visibility to community-led solutions for our future.”