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Chicago Scholars CEO Transition Announcement: Gratitude and Growth

On behalf of the Board of Directors of Chicago Scholars, we want to share the bittersweet news that Dominique Jordan Turner has announced that she will be leaving her role as the Chief Executive Officer of Chicago Scholars on January 1, 2021 to pursue other opportunities. Dominique has been an outstanding Chief Executive Officer and the Board of Directors is grateful for her innovative leadership in furthering Chicago Scholars’ mission and values.

Leading the organization through significant growth since 2013 as well as through the recent unprecedented challenges, Dominique’s commitment to elevating academically ambitious students from under-resourced communities have resulted in many notable accomplishments, including:

  • A 200% increase in the number of students Chicago Scholars serves each year

  • The establishment of the Alumni Leadership Association

  • Team LeBron James naming Chicago Scholars as its charity of choice for the 2020 NBA All Star Game

  • The selection of Chicago Scholars as a 2020 Best Place to Work by Crain’s Chicago Business

A 2018 inaugural Obama Foundation Fellow, Dominique has worked passionately as a leader, role model, and mentor to help our Scholars become the next generation of leaders in Chicago.

“I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish in the last seven years on behalf of talented young leaders in our city,” said Dominique Jordan Turner. “When I joined the team, I was asked to grow the organization, professionalize it and elevate the brand so that it would become a household name. I feel like I’ve done just that and as I depart, I am confident in the team, structure and systems that have been put in place to take Chicago Scholars to the next level. I will forever be a champion of this work even as I begin the next chapter of my leadership journey.”

While a search is underway, the Board of Directors is delighted to announce that Jeff Beckham, current Chicago Scholars Vice President of Partnerships, will serve as Interim Chief Executive Officer beginning December 1, 2020. The Board is looking forward to working with Jeff in this new capacity and he will be well supported by Chicago Scholars’ dynamic executive team.

“Dominique has impacted the lives of so many young people and I know she will continue to do so with great passion in her future endeavors. We are excited and confident that Jeff will successfully lead the organization through this transition as Chicago Scholar’s interim CEO. He is a trusted leader both within the organization and in the Chicago community,” said Kourtney Gibson, President of Loop Capital Markets and Chair of the Chicago Scholars Board.

“It has been such a pleasure to watch Dominique and Chicago Scholars grow together so dramatically. We are excited for her next phase as well as the next chapter of Chicago Scholars. As always, we’re excited, too, for all of the talent riding throughout our city,” shared Tim Schwertfeger, former Chairman and CEO of Nuveen Investments and Chicago Scholars founder.

Kathryn Thomas, Partner at Chilton Yambert Porter LLP, immediate past chair of the Chicago Scholars Board of Directors and head of the search committee that found Dominique seven years ago, will again lead the board’s executive search committee for the next CEO of Chicago Scholars. For inquiries about the search, please contact

Please join us in thanking Dominique for her enormous dedication to Chicago Scholars and in wishing her continued success in the next phase of her career.

-The Chicago Scholars Board of Directors