Board of Directors

Chair: Gretchen McDowell, Chicago

Gretchen McDowell, the current Chair of the Juvenile Justice Initiative, has devoted her life to advocacy for children and for education.  Ms. McDowell served as President of the Parent Teacher Association of Illinois, where she noted: “Children are the poor people of this country…..Children don’t vote and they’re not so easily heard….[so] people have to speak…”.

Ms. McDowell has done just that, co-authoring two major reports, one documenting the advocacy by the IL PTA, The Illinois PTA: One Hundred Years for Children, and a more recent report expanding the definition of childhood: Report to the 2017 Illinois PTA Convention on Young Adults. Through her leadership in JJI, Ms. McDowell continues to advocate to ensure that all children and young adults have equal opportunities and access to justice and a quality education.

Vice-Chair: Paula Wolff, Chicago

Co Vice-Chair:  Ngozi Okorafor

Secretary: David Reed, Evanston

Treasurer: George Hill, Decatur

Julie Anderson, Chicago
Christine Bass, Chicago
Khadine Bennett, Chicago
Julie Biehl, Chicago
Eddie Bocanegra, Chicago
Edwin A. Burnette, Chicago
Amy Campanelli, Chicago
Terry Carmichael, Springfield
Courtney Carson, Decatur
Herschella Conyers, Chicago
Andrew Fraerman, Chicago
Sharod Gordon, Chicago
Catherine Hart, Springfield
Mark D. Hassakis, Mt. Vernon
George Hill, Decatur
Frank Kopecky, Springfield
April Otterberg, Chicago
Hon. James M. Radcliffe, Belleville
Michael Rodriguez, Chicago
Leo Smith, Chicago
Hon. George Timberlake, Mt. Vernon
David Whittaker, Chicago
Veronica Williams,  Zion