Board of Directors

Hon. Daniel Biss
Illinois State Senator, 9th District
Daniel Biss began his career as a mathematics professor at the University of Chicago before becoming an organizer and then elected official. He served as a member of the Illinois House and Illinois Senate and ran an insurgent grassroots campaign for the Democratic nomination for governor, coming in second in a crowded field. His campaigns and legislative service have all featured a strong commitment to public engagement, political reform, and clean funding of elections. He is now the Executive Director of Rust Belt Rising, a training organization for Democratic candidates.
William Fehrman
Assistant Vice President of Development
Bill Fehrman is the Assistant Vice President of Development for Catholic Extension. He has an undergraduate degree in Philanthropy from DePaul University and is working towards a Master’s Degree in Policy Studies, also at DePaul. Bill lives in Park Ridge with his wife and three children.
Oren Jacobson
Independent Consultant
Oren Jacobson currently works as a multi-sector consultant helping to develop effective strategies for the businesses and non-profits across the country. He holds an MBA and is currently working on his Master’s in Economics and Policy Analysis at DePaul University.
Carl Johnson
Assistant Corporation Counsel
Carl Johnson is an associate at the litigation boutique, Novack and Macey LLP. He earned his undergraduate degree in Sociology from Yale University and his J.D. from Columbia University. In the 2016 election cycle, Carl was a Deputy Voter Protection Director in Wisconsin, and in the fall of 2014, he was a Legal Research Fellow at ICPR.
Michelle K. Jordan
General Counsel
Michelle is on the Board of Governors of the Chicago Council of Lawyers and the Judicial Reform Issues Specialist for the League of Women Voters of Illinois. She works as General Counsel to Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin.
Mark Levy
Vice President- Tax (retired)
Mark Levy was Vice President – Tax at Henry Crown and Company where he led the Tax Department until his retirement. Previously Mark was a Tax Partner with Arthur Young and Company. Mark’s volunteer activities include serving on the Board of the Jewish Children’s Bureau of Chicago, where he was President at the time of its 100th Anniversary, Jewish Child and Family Services, and the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago. Mark received his BBA degree from the University of Michigan and his JD degree from the University of Chicago Law School.
Hon. Karen McConnaughay
Illinois State Senator 33rd District (Retired)
Karen began her career in public service as a Kane County Board of Commissioner in 1992 and became Chairman in 2004. On the Board, she served on the Executive, Transportation, and Community Development Committees. In 2012, she took office as an Illinois state senator for the 33rd District, where she focused on issues like education, appropriations, and pension investments. Following her retirement from the Senate in 2018, Karen became national government affairs advisor for the Boys and Girls Club in America. Karen joined the Reform for Illinois board in December 2018.
David Melton
Treasurer and Senior Advisor
David Melton was elected to the Board of Directors in May, 2013 and resigned that position in July to assume the duties of Executive Director. In January of 2016, he resumed his position on the Board as Treasurer and Senior Advisor to the organization. Melton was an attorney in private practice, most recently with Mayer Brown and Foley & Lardner, with extensive experience in intellectual property matters. Melton was part of the pro bono team of attorneys that sued the State of Illinois to compel compliance with federal statutes requiring “Motor Voter” registration. A former Board member (including a term as President of the Board) of the Chicago Council of Lawyers, Melton has devoted significant time and expertise to improving judicial selection and protecting civil liberties.
Dana Pownall
Director of Development
Dana Pownall received her Juris Doctor from Chicago-Kent College of Law in 2014. During her studies, Dana focused on public interest law, access to justice issues, legislative advocacy, and civic engagement within the law school community. She served as Vice President and President of her law school’s student chapter of the American Constitution Society, and currently serves as the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the lawyers chapter of ACS. Prior to receiving her degree, Dana worked extensively in marketing and fundraising in both the private and public sector.

Advisory Board

Suzzane B. Calder
Suzanne Calder is a former Board President for ICPR. Previous to that she has been President of the League of Women Voters of Illinois and is a member of the Evanston League of Women Voters.
Cynthia Canary
Cynthia Canary helped found ICPR in 1997 and served as executive director until 2011. After leaving, she served on Mayor Emanuel’s ethics task force. Prior to her work at ICPR, she served as executive director of the League of Women Voters of Illinois, where she helped Illinois implement the National Voter Registration Act. Ms. Canary has also worked in the Public Education Division of the American Bar Association.
Hon. Dan Cronin
Cronin is the current Chairman of the DuPage County Board. In this position, Cronin spearheaded the development of the DuPage ACT Initiative designed to improve efficiency and encourage resource sharing across county government and its independently administered agencies. Cronin has also provided leadership to Transform Illinois, a non-partisan collaboration of public officials, civic leaders and research institutions advocating for government efficiency. Prior to serving as DuPage County Board Chairman, Cronin was a member of the Illinois General Assembly, serving one term in the House of Representatives before moving to the Illinois Senate.
Hon. Jim Edgar
Edgar served as Illinois’ 38th Governor from 1991 to 1999, having previously held office as Illinois State Representative and later as Illinois Secretary of State. Edgar is a distinguished fellow at the Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois, and has been awarded the Order of Lincoln, Illinois’ highest honor. He currently leads the Edgar Fellows Program, an initiative at the University of Illinois that seeks to develop leadership and encourage bipartisan cooperation.
Mike Lawrence
Mike Lawrence a former director of the Paul Simon Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University, which he joined in 1997 before being promoted in 2004. He was press secretary and senior policy adviser to Governor Jim Edgar for almost a decade. For 25 years previous, he worked as a journalist mostly covering Illinois government and politics.
Suzzane McBride
Suzanne McBride is an Associate Journalism Professor and Chair of Communications & Media Innovation at Columbia College Chicago. She has over three decades of experience in journalism as both a reporter and editor, and has worked for the Indianapolis Star, WTHR/13, and the Terre Haute Tribune-Star, among others. Suzanne currently works as a part-time editor for the Chicago Sun-Times.
Ron Michaelson
Dr. Ron Michaelson served in Illinois government for 33 years, 27 of which as Executive Director of the Illinois State Board of Elections. He currently has a joint appointment as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Studies and as a Research Fellow with the Institute for Legal, Legislative and Policy Studies. He earned his Ph.D. in Government at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.
Hon. David Orr
As Cook County Clerk since 1990, David Orr is the chief election authority for suburban Cook County. A progressive voice in Chicago politics for 32 years, Orr has been nationally commended for his leadership on election reform, the Motor Voter law, early voting, and student election judge programs. Orr’s innovative efforts to boost productivity and improve efficiency in his office have also garnered recognition from Microsoft and the National Association of County Officials.
Kent Redfield
Kent Redfield is an emeritus faculty member of Political Studies at the University of Illinois at Springfield. There he worked at the Institute for Legislative Studies, where he had been a research fellow since 1979. Dr. Redfield had been engaged in research on the financing of political campaigns in Illinois and political ethics since 1991. He still remains engaged with the university as a guest lecturer on Illinois politics and money as well as working with graduate students.
Shari Runner
Shari Runner is the President and CEO of the Chicago Urban League. Runner began her career in finance and trading with the First National Bank of Chicago. With more than 25 years in operations and financial management, Runner has also worked as an entrepreneur, management consultant, and community advocate. Runner’s civic leadership includes serving on the Board of Directors of Urban Gateways, and as the President of the Board of Directors of the Bright Promises Foundation. She has been actively involved with the Museum of Science and Industry’s Black Creativity Program.
Hon. Adlai Stevenson, III
Stevenson is Chairman of the Adlai Stevenson Center on Democracy. Stevenson is also a former State Representative, State Treasurer and US Senator, and a two-time candidate for Governor of Illinois. Stevenson was inducted as a Laureate of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois and awarded the Order of Lincoln by the Governor. Widely traveled and an authority on East Asia, Stevenson is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Order of the Sacred Treasure with a Gold and Silver Star from the Emperor of Japan. He is a veteran of the Korean War and a former USMC Captain.



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