Perri Irmer is President and CEO of the DuSable Museum of African American History, the iconic institution founded by Dr. Margaret Burroughs. It is the oldest institution of its kind in the U.S. Located in Chicago, IL, the Museum exists to promote understanding and inspire appreciation of the achievements, contributions, and experiences of African Americans through exhibits, programs, and activities that illustrate African and African American history, culture and art. Visit the following pages to learn more about the museum:
Ms. Irmer began her tenure as president in September, 2015, and her plans for The DuSable include advancing Dr. Burroughs’ vision of the museum as a center for African and African American arts and culture, as well as a center for thought leadership and community advancement.
Ms. Irmer was born and raised in Hyde Park, holds a Professional Bachelor of Architecture degree from the Illinois Institute of Technology and earned her J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School. Just prior to joining the DuSable, Irmer ran her own global management consulting and strategic planning firm with a mission of promoting economic development through the integration of advanced technology, sustainable design, and public policy.
Irmer was a litigator in private law practice before enjoying a distinguished tenure in government, having served as the CEO of the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority; Assistant General Counsel for Chicago Public Schools; Director of Construction Services for the Public Building Commission of Chicago; and Deputy Commissioner of the City of Chicago Department of Buildings. As a private sector real estate professional, Irmer served as Senior Vice President for Mesirow Financial and as Vice President of development for Merchandise Mart Properties, Inc. To date, Irmer has administered well over $6 billion in public and private construction projects.
In addition to serving on IIT’s Alumni Board of Directors, she chairs its International Committee and was a founding member of its African American Alumni Association. Irmer also sits on the boards of numerous civic and charitable organizations, including serving as a Trustee of the Catholic Theological Union. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau (now known as Choose Chicago) and was a founding member of the Chicago Sports Commission. Irmer is the recipient of numerous awards and honors for her involvement in community and youth services, her longstanding support and advocacy of minority and woman-owned businesses, and her promotion of international business relationships within Illinois.