For media inquiries and speaking engagements email media@joycefdn.org


Beth Swanson


Beth helps guide an annual grant portfolio of $45 million, providing strategic direction to all programs and working on foundation-wide innovation initiatives.

Beth also directs the Special Opportunities Fund and the Joint Fund for Education and Employment. The Special Opportunities Fund focuses on innovative initiatives that cut across program areas, and on forging partnerships with media organizations to amplify Joyce grant making. The Joint Fund for Education and Employment supports students from cradle to career, with a special focus on partnerships between high schools and postsecondary institutions to help students succeed in education, careers and life.

Before joining Joyce, Beth served as Deputy for Education in the administration of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, working collaboratively with education and community leaders to define the city’s education policy agenda from birth through college. She served as the Mayor’s point person in expanding early learning opportunities, achieving a full school day, bringing quality school options to families and launching the city's Summer of Learning initiative.  Beth also worked closely with Chicago’s business community to ensure that City Colleges of Chicago, a network of seven community colleges, helped students learn skills relevant to the local job market.

Beth had previously served as Executive Director of the Pritzker Traubert Family Foundation, and worked for Chicago Public Schools with CEO Arne Duncan, serving as Director of the Office of Extended Learning Opportunities and then leading the District’s Office of Management and Budget.

Beth is Board Chair for Thrive Chicago, a collective impact initiative working to align efforts by service providers, city agencies and funders to help children succeed from cradle to career. She was appointed by Governor Rauner to the Illinois P-20 Council, and serves on the boards of the Chicago Public Education Fund and One Million Degrees. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English and American Studies from Amherst College, and a master's in Public Policy from the University of Chicago. Beth, her husband, and their three children live on Chicago’s North Side.

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