As the fifth president and chief executive officer of the 110 year-old Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, La Follette School alum Theresa Mintle directs public policy, programs, communications and business growth initiatives to make Chicagoland the most business-friendly region in America.
Since joining the chamber in August 2013, Mintle has worked to help businesses interact with government officials. "Our storied history of being a city that has a great relationship between business, civic and government communities still continues today," Mintle says. "Chicago is a great city that is home to diverse leaders who continue to honor our civic engagement practices from the past."
Mintle graduated from the La Follette School in 1991 and has spent 27 years in public service working at the federal, state and city levels of government. Her experience in government includes leading several infrastructure projects, driving pension reform and implementing modernization initiatives.
Her involvement in the University of Wisconsin–Madison's Board of Visitors for the La Follette Institute and Department of Political Science led to lifelong commitments and participation in alumni networks and programs.
To that end, Mintle is hosting an international policy panel on November 6 as part of the La Follette in Chicago program. Twenty-nine students are traveling to Chicago to learn about career options and network with alumni and friends of the school. Mintle and the Chamber are also hosting a reception for the students, alumni and friends of the school from 5:30 to 7 p.m. that evening at the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce in the Wrigley Building, Suite 900, 410 N. Michigan Avenue.
"I am pleased to be organizing the panel discussion on the case for an import/export bank, as well as the reception for alumni and friends of the school," Mintle says. "I look forward to talking with current public affairs students and other alumni and friends of the school."
Prior to joining the chamber, Mintle served as the chief of staff to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, joining his team just prior to his May 2011 inauguration. She set up his administration, and in doing so drove modernization of internal business systems, advocated for investment in infrastructure reformed personnel policies and coordinated key initiatives. "Those two years were the best of my life in government," Mintle says. "I was very honored to be tapped as Mayor Emanuel's chief of staff. He's a tireless worker on behalf of the city. I learned a lot working with him and I'm very happy to now be on the other side to do what I can with the business community to ensure that Chicago maintains a highly-competitive advantage."
Mintle earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1986, then went to work for U.S. House Representative Marty Russo of Illinois as a legislative assistant in Washington, D.C. She eventually landed a position as a mayoral aide and liaison in the office of Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley.
Mintle also has served as assistant director of Government Relations at the University of Illinois Chicago, in executive positions with the Aspen Institute in Chicago and as program director of the Commercial Club of Chicago's Chicago Metropolis 2020, now Metropolis Strategies and formally affiliated with the Chicago Community Trust. Before Emanuel asked her to serve as his chief of staff, Mintle was chief of staff at the Chicago Transit Authority Board.
In 2000, she was selected as a Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow, and in 2001 the German Marshall Fund chose her as an American Marshall Memorial Fellow. In 2011 she was on the host committee to bring the annual GMF Transatlantic Forum to Chicago.
In carrying out all her responsibilities, Mintle taps her management training she received at the La Follette Institute. "The La Follette program encourages students to participate in academic programs throughout the university, allowing for collaboration with the business school, life sciences, and real estate, to name a few," Mintle says. "This type of collaboration is the hallmark of effective government. I saw it at work in Washington, D.C. in the 1980s, and I used it in City Hall. I continue to foster collaborative engagements at the Chamber."