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Beth Swanson

Vice President of Strategy and Programs

Joyce Foundation

Beth Swanson is Vice President of Strategy and Programs at the Joyce Foundation, where she helps to guide programs with an annual grant portfolio of $35 million.

Before joining the Foundation, Beth served as the Deputy for Education for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Beth worked with Mayor Emanuel and other leaders to define the city’s education policy agenda from birth through college. She served as the point person in expanding early learning opportunities, achieving a full school day, bringing quality school options to families and launching the city’s Summer of Learning. Beth also worked closely with the city’s business community to ensure the City Colleges of Chicago, a network of seven community colleges, helped students learn skills relevant to the local job market.

Previously, Beth served as Executive Director of the Pritzker Traubert Family Foundation. She also worked for Chicago Public Schools with then-CEO Arne Duncan, first as Director of the Office of Extended Learning Opportunities followed by her role leading the district’s Office of Management and Budget.

Beth serves on the board of directors for the Chicago Public Education Fund and the Lincoln Park Zoo. She received the 2012 Jean S. Meltzer Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to the betterment of Chicago-area youth, and she was named one of Crain’s “40 under 40” in 2013. She holds a Bachelor’s from Amherst College and Master’s in Public Policy from the University of Chicago.