Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle named John Keller, who has served as her Director of External Affairs, as her new Chief Staff, effective immediately.
In his new role, Keller will be responsible for coordinating and supervising the work of all Offices Under the President, as well as the President’s senior staff, and collaborating with separately elected officials throughout the County, City and State.
Keller boasts experience at numerous levels of government. He worked with Preckwinkle when she served as Alderman of the Fourth Ward on the Community Benefits Agreement for Chicago 2016 in the City’s bid to secure the Olympics. He served on Preckwinkle’s transition team after she was elected Cook County Board President in 2010. He has worked in various bureaus and departments within Cook County government, including Asset Management and Economic Development. He also served as Director of Local Government Affairs in the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity under former Gov. Pat Quinn.
“I have known John for more than a decade and his breadth of experience equips him well for the Chief of Staff role,” Preckwinkle said. “He has a demonstrated ability to work well across the County’s vast landscape of responsibilities. Most recently, his efforts in helping guide our efforts to pass a balanced and fiscally responsible FY2017 budget were critical to our success.”
“I am grateful to President Preckwinkle for her confidence in me and for the opportunity to continue the progress we have made in reforming Cook County government,” Keller said. “I look forward to advancing our continuing efforts in public health, public safety and economic development, as well as other policy priorities that improve the quality of life for all of our residents.”
Keller’s appointment completes the transition in this key management post following Brian Hamer’s resignation as Chief of Staff, which was effective last Friday.