Title and Organization:
Brian Bannon is Commissioner and CEO of the Chicago Public Library (CPL). He was appointed to this role by Mayor Rahm Emanuel in 2012. With nearly twenty years of experience developing and implementing innovative educational programs and leading large-scale operations that provide digital skills training, community-based learning, and educational advancement for children, families, and adults, Brian is a recognized leader in the government and nonprofit sectors, and has developed cross sector recognition as an innovator. With eighty locations, the CPL is one of the largest public library systems in the world. Over his tenure, Brian has dramatically changed the library’s organizational direction and brought design thinking and experimentation front and center to the CPL’s operations. This shift has created an environment that has enabled new programs to expand citywide and be replicated in other cities across the country. The key investments in talent, structure, and design have not only improved access to high-quality learning opportunities and services for Chicago residents, but they have built an entrepreneurial culture that supports innovation at all levels of the organization. Brian also has received numerous accolades for this work that include Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business,” Blue Sky Innovation’s 100 innovators, and Crain’s Chicago Business Tech 50. Brian’s board service includes READ Global, Illinois Humanities, Donors Forum, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Global Libraries. Prior to working in Chicago, Brian held leadership roles at the San Francisco Public Library, Seattle Public Library, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He received his Bachelor of Arts from Pacific Lutheran University and his master’s degree in library and information science from the University of Washington Information School. He is a member of the 2017 Class of Henry Crown Fellows within the Aspen Global Leadership Network at the Aspen Institute.