Gillian Darlow is Chief Executive Officer of Polk Bros. Foundation, which is dedicated to building and strengthening Chicago's families and communities, especially those most affected by poverty and inequity. The Foundation focuses its work at the intersection of Chicago's most pressing issues to address the complex roots and devastating effects of poverty, challenge inequity, and ensure that all Chicagoans have the opportunity to reach their full potential. As one of the largest funders of Chicago nonprofit organizations, the Foundation grants more than $25 million to nearly 400 nonprofit partners every year to build strong communities and families, increase access to quality education and the arts, improve health, and strengthen organizations and the sectors in which they work.
Before joining Polk Bros. Foundation in early 2013, Gillian was a principal with Civic Consulting Alliance where she guided numerous initiatives to transform Chicago Public Schools, tourism, workforce, and City operations and led the City’s 2011 Mayoral transition plan. Gillian is a member of the Commercial Club of Chicago, the Chicago Network and the Economic Club and an active leader of the Partnership for Safe and Peaceful Communities. Current and recent board roles include Chicago Public Education Fund, Civic Consulting Alliance, Skills for Chicagoland’s Future, Forefront, Positive Coaching Alliance, the Civic Federation, and, formerly, the city’s tourism agency Choose Chicago (Vice Chair). Gillian holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, an MA in education from the Stanford Graduate School of Education, and a BA in psychology from Harvard University.