Felicia Davis Blakley is a socially conscious executive leader, who leads with radical authenticity, unparalleled passion, and inspirational vision. A proven leader in the government, public policy, higher education, and philanthropic sectors, she is deeply committed to community through inclusive service to others.
Felicia is a self-described girl from the South Side of Chicago and, for more than 30 years, has worked at the intersection of public policy and community equity and inclusion. For her, the transformational idea of being a social change agent coexists with a deep awareness of the practical realities facing our society. Felicia believes profoundly in the power to transform individual lives, families, and whole communities through collective efforts and that advancing equality and equity in society are causes worth fighting for.
As President and CEO of Chicago Foundation for Women (CFW), she leads the Foundation's strategic efforts to invest in women and girls, transgender, and gender nonbinary people as catalysts, fighting for gender equity, and building stronger communities for all. Since its founding in 1985, CFW has invested more than $45M in organizations supporting women and girls across the Chicago region. In September 2021, under her leadership, CFW launched the SHEcovery™ initiative. A commitment from CFW to raise over $11M, identify, uplift, fund, advocate for, and support a more equitable system to ensure women and their families emerge from the pandemic stronger than before.
Prior to joining CFW, Felicia held diverse executive positions in Chicago city government, including Inaugural Executive Director for the Mayor’s Office of Public Engagement, Commissioner, and Deputy Mayor for Public Safety.
An advocate and acclaimed public speaker, Felicia has appeared on local and international news outlets and been a presenter at forums, and featured in a diverse roster of publications.
Additionally, Felicia gives generously of her personal time, serving on several civic and charitable boards. Previously she served as a member of JB Pritzker’s Gubernatorial Inauguration Committee and an appointee to the Illinois Senate Sexual Discrimination, Harassment Awareness and Prevention Task Force. Presently, she is a member of the Board of Regents at Mercy Home, Trustee with Court Theatre at the University of Chicago, Board Member at Partnership for College Completion, and she serves as a Co-Chair for the National Community Engagement Group and Executive Committee member for RECOVER, a research initiative from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), seeks to understand, prevent, and treat PASC, including Long COVID.
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Chicago Foundation for Women is a leading convener of women in Chicago. Check out our upcoming events below. All of our events, including those hosted by our Giving Councils, are open to the public unless otherwise specified.
To read about meetings and events we've held, visit our entire Events Schedule. Questions? Email email@example.com.