Cara Hendrickson Named BPI’s New Executive Director

A special message from BPI Board President Jonathan Kaden:

On behalf of BPI’s Board of Directors and staff, I am honored to announce that Cara Hendrickson has been chosen as our next Executive Director.

As you’ll read in the press release that BPI issued today, Cara has established herself as one of our community’s most effective public interest advocates during nearly two decades of experience in shaping policy through the nonprofit sector, government, and the courts.

In becoming the first woman to lead BPI in our 50-year history, Cara will succeed the beloved Hoy McConnell, who is stepping down after 20 years of dedicated service as BPI’s Executive Director.

Of course, we’re not just welcoming Cara. We’re welcoming her back to BPI, where she served early in her career as a Skadden Fellow and cemented a commitment to social justice that has reverberated throughout her career.

Cara left one of her biggest imprints on the fight for a just and equitable society during a five-year tenure as Chief of the Public Interest Division for former Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and current Attorney General Kwame Raoul. In this role, she managed a staff of more than 60 across seven bureaus and was the State’s lead attorney in negotiating and receiving approval of a landmark consent decree mandating long-sought reforms to promote integrity and accountability within the Chicago Police Department.

I have no doubt that Cara will lead BPI to similarly significant and seminal achievements across all of our work to advance racial and economic equity in Chicago and the region.

Cara’s hiring culminates an extensive search conducted by a committee of our Board of Directors, and I want to thank all involved for their time and commitment to shepherding BPI through this transition.

And, of course, I especially want to thank Hoy for two decades of truly exemplary stewardship of BPI, a time when we not only launched expansive new program and fundraising initiatives and received the MacArthur Foundation’s Award for Creative and Effective Institutions—one of the most prestigious honors bestowed on nonprofits—but when we also settled the legendary Gautreaux lawsuit that played a major role in combating racial discrimination in America’s public housing.

I’ve learned much from Hoy—and my immediate predecessor, Nick Brunick—that I hope to apply in my new tenure as Board President. And I can think of no better partner than Cara to lead us forward.

Cara will officially take the reins in late February. But today, please join me in congratulating and welcoming Cara Hendrickson as BPI’s new Executive Director.

Click here to download the press release.

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