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Mayor-elect Lightfoot Announces Senior Staff and Finance Positions

5/16/2019, 10:19 a.m. | Updated on 5/16/2019, 10:19 a.m.

Mayor-elect Lightfoot Announces Senior Staff and Finance Positions

Mayor-elect Lori E. Lightfoot today made the first announcement of key members of her administration’s leadership team, which will continue to be built out over the next 100 days. The senior staff announced today will be part of the team responsible for carrying out the vision and values that will guide the Lightfoot administration.

“I’m confident that the talented team we are announcing today will help drive our key policies and initiatives over our first 100 days and beyond,” said Mayor-elect Lori E. Lightfoot. “Our city is filled with great talent, and that was made abundantly clear by the caliber of the people who applied to be part of transforming the way that Chicago’s government serves its communities.”

Today, the Mayor-elect announced the following positions:

Jennie Huang Bennett, Chief Financial Officer - Jennie brings a wealth of public sector and extensive experience in municipal finance to the role. She currently serves as Chief Financial Officer of Chicago Public Schools and has extensive experience in managing financial turnarounds, driving cost efficiencies, and generating revenues through creative solutions. Jennie is skilled at managing large complex capital structures, developing governmental budgets, and finding paths toward financial sustainability. She helped lead CPS through significant financial difficulties, which have now been relieved through new, fairer educational funding.

Maurice Classen, Chief of Staff - Maurice has an extensive leadership background in criminal justice reform and violence reduction, with positions at the McArthur Foundation and the Chicago Police Department. As the first civilian Director of Strategy at the Police Department, Maurice led a staff of data analysts, auditors, and project managers in building a comprehensive plan to transform the 13,000 member department, leading to reform efforts in a variety of areas including community policing and accountability systems. At MacArthur, Maurice spearheaded a multi-foundation effort to address violence and police reform raising over $50 million to improve circumstances for all Chicagoans. Maurice has served as Chief of Staff for the Mayor-elect’s transition.

Mark Flessner, Corporation Counsel - A former federal prosecutor in the US Attorney’s office in the Northern District of Illinois, Mark is a partner and trial attorney at Holland & Knight, where he handles sophisticated matters in healthcare, retail, manufacturing, insurance, finance, and other sectors. He also has substantial experience investigating wrongdoing within the corporate world. Mark is also the pro-bono partner in the firm’s Chicago office.

Taylor Lewis, Director of Scheduling and Advance - An experienced project manager and communicator, Taylor has managed the Mayor-elect’s schedule through the transition. Lewis most recently worked in Corporate Relations for Allstate Insurance Company where she developed an innovative communications approach for the President of Allstate Personal Lines aimed at increasing confidence in Allstate's business strategy, results, and growth opportunities.

Dan Lurie, Policy Director - A senior fellow and director of New America Chicago, Dan has extensive community development experience in local, state, and federal government. He has worked as an advisor for the Obama Administration, including as deputy director for policy for former Vice President Joe Biden. Prior to that, Lurie served as an advisor to the National Endowment for the Arts and to Deputy Secretary Ron Sims at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Lurie began his career as an Antitrust Attorney and Deputy Chief of Staff at the Chicago Transit Board of the Chicago Transit Authority. Lurie has a B.A. in American History from the University of Michigan, and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School.