Executive Director, Get In Chicago

Toni Irving, Ph.D., is Executive Director of 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 and helps convene public and private organizations to help 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 strategies to assist poverty- and violence-stricken communities.  

Dr. Irving 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.  

She is an Aspen Institute Scholar, a member of the National Governor’s Association Center for Best Practices, Juvenile Justice Leadership Council, the executive committee of the Juvenile Justice Commission, The Wayfarers Club, and The Economic Club of Chicago. In 2011, Dr. Irving received the MacArthur Foundation “Champion for Change” award, recognizing her efforts to reform juvenile justice. Born in Philadelphia, she has resided in Chicago since 2000.