FY 2015
YTD totals




Governor publishes transition plan 

Pro bono partners:


On Friday, January 9, then Governor-elect Rauner's Transition Committee published its report for the new administration. The report contains a new vision for Illinois in each of 12 policy areas, 46 critical strategies for each area, and 81 ideas that the new administration can act on in its first hundred days, to begin moving the state towards a new vision of the future.

The report is the product of a remarkable collaboration between 28 Transition Co-Chairs, 44 Policy Co-Chairs, 132 committee members, Civic Consulting Alliance and its pro bono partners. Altogether, more than 40 consultants (33 full-time) from 8 partner firms contributed their time and expertise to ensure a successful transition. As part of their work, the team interviewed hundreds of experts, read more than 1,400 pages of policy memos, and reviewed more than 2,500 ideas submitted by the general public. In addition to the public report, these pro bono teams produced comprehensive on-boarding packets for 14 incoming agency heads, as well as a framework for the transformation of the state's IT and operational capabilities.

"I was consistently impressed by the tremendous commitment of each participant in the process," said John Garabedian, Senior Partner and Managing Director at The Boston Consulting Group and Co-Chair of the Government Operations Committee. "This transition effort wouldn't have happened without the willingness of all the firms - some of whom compete in the marketplace - to collaborate closely, in the service of a better future for Illinois."

For more information, please contact Brian Fabes.

A crash course in civic life

Ryan Lechner

Senior Associate Consultant, Bain & Company 


As an extern at Civic Consulting Alliance, I led an effort to improve Illinois while developing a broad understanding of the issues facing the region. But the most rewarding part of the experience was working alongside the people tackling these challenges.


During my first three months, I worked with Illinois' civic and business leaders to identify the most pressing challenges facing the state and build a case for change. The project provided a unique experience to learn about the operations, and challenges, of a $66 billion government.




For the final three months, I supported Governor Rauner's Transition Committee in developing a transition report, "Building a Better Illinois." My team coordinated the efforts of nearly 200 stakeholders to develop recommendations in 12 policy areas, such as public safety and education. Our work culminated in a half-day session where the state's civic leaders discussed and debated the future of Illinois. 


Every day held a new, exciting challenge. My most enriching experiences were meeting leaders in various fields and learning about their passions. I met civically-engaged CEOs and managing directors who will serve as lifetime mentors, pushing me to give back and helping me find my way. I am grateful to have worked on such substantial projects with these incredibly bright and passionate individuals.


For more information on externship opportunities with Civic Consulting Alliance, please contact Asheley Van Ness.


Investing in our future leaders  

Civic Consulting Alliance's partnership has supported systemic, positive change across the region. But behind every success story is a great client - government leaders, with interdisciplinary mindsets, who know how to get things done.


Civic Consulting Alliance is investing in the next generation of great leaders through its support of the Civic Leadership Academy, which formally kicked off on January 22nd. Co-developed by Civic Consulting Alliance, the University of Chicago's Office of Civic Engagement, and LISC Chicago, the inaugural class consists of 28 Fellows from local government agencies and nonprofits. Through the six-month program, fellows will develop skills in leadership, strategy, management, data analytics, and policy innovation. 


President Toni Preckwinkle addresses the inaugural class (Credit: The University of Chicago/Robert Kozloff)

Enthusiasm from local leaders was high at the Civic Leadership Academy opening ceremony on January 22nd. Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said, "I am a teacher by profession, as some of you may know, so investing in the next generation of leaders is something that's really important to me." Added Deputy Mayor Steve Koch, "I am incredibly excited about what the CLA can lead to, what it does, and what it adds to the special uniqueness of Chicago."


For more information, please contact Liz Coon.

 The CLA Fellows stand with leaders of the sponsoring organizations 

(Credit: The University of Chicago/Robert Kozloff)


Getting on the right track

The Metra rail system provides 82 million rides annually, enabling patrons in the Chicago area and beyond to commute to work or attend special events. To help Metra develop and retain a world-class workforce and provide excellent customer service, a team from Civic Consulting Alliance helped develop a strategic plan. Drawing on insights from dozens of interviews with Metra employees and leading transit systems across the country, the team recommended a revamped recruiting process to attract the best employees and the creation of a customer service team focused on responding to customer feedback. 


For more information, please contact Brian Fabes.


Data-driven insights help deliver books

What would it take to get your library books to you within two days? A team from The Greatest Good, with support from Civic Consulting Alliance, recently developed a variety of recommendations to reduce wait times for hold requests at the Chicago Public Library. Using insights from an analysis of more than 500,000 library holds, the team recommended customer alerts of potential wait times, automated nudges to pick up books once they arrive, and an improved data collection process to keep the holds system running effectively. 


For more information, please contact Melanie Halvorson. 

Questions? Comments? Interested in writing a guest article? Please email Wally Hilke with any newsletter feedback.