Toni Irving

Executive Director, Get In Chicago

Toni Irving, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the newly formed Get In Chicago, an innovative public/private partnership that seeks to strengthen communities hardest hit by poverty and violence. The organization invests in programs targeted at at-risk youth. It helps convene public and private organizations to employ and leverage existing initiatives to make Chicago safer and individual lives better.

Previously, Dr. Irving was Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor to Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn. She oversaw policy and planning, personnel, legislative and operations issues for public safety and human services agencies with combined budgets of $8 billion. As Senior Advisor, she advised the governor on minority business and workforce development issues and on developing and executing strategies to assist communities hardest hit by poverty and violence. This work included launching a 27,000 transitional jobs program and a three-year, $70 million community-recovery project.

Dr. Irving also was a member of the faculty at the University of Notre Dame where she conducted research and teaching on law, literature, and social policy. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree. from the University of Virginia, Master of Arts degree from the University of Kent at Canterbury, England, and Ph.D. from New York University.

Dr. Irving is a member of the Juvenile Justice Leadership Council, the executive committee of the Juvenile Justice Commission and The Economic Club of Chicago. She is former co-chair of the Illinois Poverty Elimination Commission and the Human Services Commission. In 2011, Dr. Irving received the MacArthur Foundation “Champion for Change” award that recognized her efforts to make juvenile justice reform a hallmark of the Quinn administration. Born in Philadelphia, she has resided in Chicago since 2000.