Karen G. Foley became JPA’s 7th President and CEO in January 2015. Ms. Foley brings extensive corporate and child welfare experience to her leadership role at JPA. In this role, Ms. Foley has expanded programming and services to more than 3,000 children, families and teachers on the west and south sides of Chicago. She has been instrumental in building a more diverse Board of Directors and staff, increasing revenue, including over $1.6 million in funding for a trauma-informed, school based program called Connect to Kids (C2K) program, and building New Light, offering therapy to children, families and college students.
Previously, she served as President and CEO for The Hope Institute for Children and Families, serving children with autism and developmental delays across Illinois.
From 2004 to March 2013, Ms. Foley served as President of Chicago Scholars, a premier college-to-career program reaching high potential students from every public, private and parochial high school in Chicago. She transformed the organization from providing a one- time scholarships into a comprehensive multi-year college-to career program servings over 1,000 scholars annually. During her tenure, Chicago Scholar created the College Onsite program, a national network of selective and highly selective college partners that provided more than $20 million in scholarships each year (which has since grown to more than $40 million). Ms. Foley also worked closely inside Chicago to create partnerships with dozens of nonprofit organizations including Mikva Challenge, the Urban League, Link Unlimited, the Roseland Children’s Initiative, and the Hispanic Alliance for Career Advancement, IES Abroad, and many others. Previously, she served as Executive Vice President and head of global marketing at CNA Insurance Companies. Karen earned a Master of Business Administration from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and her undergraduate degree from Hamilton (Kirkland) College.
Ms. Foley has served as president of Mathcounts, a national organization dedicated to promoting math in every middle school across the country, and as a Trustee of the Hinsdale Library and as president of its Foundation. Ms. Foley was honored to serve on Governor Pritzker’s Healthy Children & Families Transition Committee, and Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s Health & Human Services Transition Committee. Ms. Foley is a member of the Children’s Committee and serves on the Steering Committee of the Psychotherapy Action Network. She also serves as the Treasurer and Chair of the Finance Committee of the University Club of Chicago.