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News from President Toni Preckwinkle

President Preckwinkle Fills Critical Vacancies, Names New CIO

President Preckwinkle Fills Critical Vacancies, Names New CIOCook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle today announced that she is filling critical vacancies in the President’s office as well as naming a new Chief Information Officer as she continues to recruit top talent to key posts in County Government.

“I am thrilled to welcome these talented individuals to Cook County government, and I am confident that their experience and commitment to public service will greatly aid us as we work to make Cook County the best run County in the nation,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

Preckwinkle named David Lebreton as Chief Performance Officer (CPO).  As CPO, Lebreton will be responsible for leading the President’s Set Targets, Achieve Results (STAR) program performance management efforts to increase efficiency and improve the quality of services. Through the work already done in the STAR program, the County can claim such successes as sending the tax bills out on time for the first time in 34 years to save school districts and local taxing bodies millions, increasing energy efficiency to save County taxpayers over $2.5 million, reducing the percent of patients who left the Emergency Department without being seen by almost half, and working to place over twice as many non-violent detainees into a more responsible and cost-effective electronic monitoring program. STAR has also afforded residents first-of-its-kind transparency into the effectiveness and efficiency of County agencies and departments by mandating they report on what they do with each dollar that they spend. This CPO position is the first of its kind at County government, underscoring the President’s commitment to this effort.  Lebreton previously worked at the Boston Consulting Group and the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. He has an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Doris Salomón, the new Director of External Affairs, will be responsible the President’s community engagement strategy.  Salomón will work with a wide range of groups – from advocacy organizations to businesses to individual constituents – to ensure that their voices are heard throughout the governing process.  Salomón previously worked as President and CEO of the Illinois Education Foundation and Director of Community Engagement for Access Community Health Network.  Salomón is currently a steering committee member of Nuestro Futuro housed at the Chicago Community Trust and serves on the Emeritus Board of Mujeres Latinas En Acción.  She brings to the County over two decades of experience in external affairs and community outreach.  Salomón replaces Christian Mitchell who left his post in October of 2011 to launch a successful bid for State Representative of Illinois’ 26th House District.

“Doris is a great addition to President Preckwinkle’s staff who will work tirelessly to engage a wide array of constituencies throughout Cook County,” said Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (D-7th).  “Her experience and background make her uniquely suited as the President’s liaison to the community.”

Preckwinkle also named Lydia Murray as the County’s Chief Information Officer, replacing Greg Wass who is moving to a senior-level management role with the State of Illinois. As CIO, Murray will be responsible for the County’s financial reporting and revenue systems, as well as the County’s email and website.  In addition, Murray will be charged with implementing new cost-saving tools, such as online and handheld technologies, as well as driving improved services, such as expanded broadband access for underserved County residents.  Murray joins the County from the Civic Consulting Alliance (CCA), where she served as project manager of the City-County Collaboration efforts that saved $34 million annually in the first year and led to significant service improvements, such as the unification of City and County workforce development.  She previously worked as Chief of Staff at the CTA, where she oversaw a nearly $2 billion budget and directed the rollout of the Bus Tracker web application that provides real time ride information to 1.7 million daily riders. She also served as Deputy Chief of Staff at the City of Chicago, where she chaired the Information Technology Governing Board which approved nearly $30M annually in capital requests.  Murray will be beginning her new role on September 4th.  Mary Jo Horace, currently the Director of Geographic Information Systems, will be serving as interim CIO.

“Lydia’s deep commitment to public service and extensive experience in government make her an ideal choice for the County’s Chief Information Officer,” said Brian Fabes, Chief Executive Officer of the Civic Consulting Alliance.  “She will be missed by all of us at Civic Consulting but we are confident that she will be successful in her new role as the County continues to make substantial technological improvements.”

Preckwinkle also announced an in-house promotion as Neil Khare will become Deputy Chief of Staff after serving as the President’s Director of Policy. As Deputy Chief of Staff, Neil will be responsible for developing and implementing strategies on high-profile initiatives and assisting with day-to-day operations in the President’s Office.  Previously, Khare was responsible for developing several of the President’s policies in the areas of public safety, health care, property & taxation and economic development. He was also responsible for directing the implementation of the County’s performance management program.  He previously worked on the President’s transition team, at the John Buck Company and Chicago 2016.  Khare earned a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University.

“Neil has been an integral part of my staff and has played a critical role in helping me implement my vision for Cook County government,” Preckwinkle said.  “I place a high priority on promoting from within and I am confident that Neil will thrive in his new position.”