Robak Named Chair of the Chicago State Foundation Board of Directors

John RobakCHICAGO, IL (February 27, 2023) – Chicago State Foundation is pleased to announce that John C. Robak, former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of global engineering firm Greeley and Hansen, has been elected chair of the Chicago State Foundation Board of Directors.

“John’s passion and commitment to education equity, coupled with his significant professional and civic experience makes him an excellent leader for the Foundation’s Board of Directors as the University works to position itself for transformational change,” said Andrea Zopp, Chair of the Board of Trustees of Chicago State University.

Robak who joined the Chicago State Foundation Board in 2019 has more than 30 years of professional business experience. Robak holds an MBA from Loyola University of Chicago and a Bachelor of Science in Commerce from DePaul University. Robak is personally involved with many nonprofit organizations and supports numerous civic causes. In addition to his work with Chicago State Foundation, Robak is the Chair of the Board of Directors of Chicago United, and Chair of the Community Policing Advisory Panel (CPAP) at the Chicago Police Department.  Robak has received numerous awards and accolades for his collaborative leadership style and commitment to community service.

“My deep interest and passion have always been about improving communities by supporting organizations that have the knowledge and expertise to make that happen,” said Robak. “Developing relationships across our city and state and being a vocal advocate for equity is so important. It’s an honor to be involved with the Chicago State Foundation and Chicago State University as they work together to make measurable—and sustainable—strides in closing the education and wealth gap in Chicago and the State of Illinois.”

“I’m thrilled to continue working with John Robak in his new role as the Foundation’s board chair. He will be an important advisor and integral partner in 2023 and beyond.  John’s term promises to continue the strong relationship between the University and the Foundation,” said Zaldwaynaka “Z” Scott, President of Chicago State University.

Robak succeeds Christina Steed, Adjunct Professor at DePaul University, as chair of the Chicago State Foundation Board.

“We are truly grateful for the leadership Christina Steed has provided over the last three years and during the onboarding of my tenure with the Foundation,” said Melanie Sillas, Chicago State Foundation Executive Director. “We are extraordinarily privileged that John has agreed to serve as chair of the board. He is a visionary civic leader committed to excellence and equity.”

About the Chicago State Foundation

The mission of Chicago State Foundation is to advance the interest and welfare of Chicago State University (CSU) by building relationships, securing philanthropic support, stewarding assets and otherwise procuring private support on behalf of the University.

Working in concert with the President of CSU, Chicago State Foundation helps to identify strategic priorities, raise public awareness for the University and secure private support to create new opportunities for students.

About Chicago State University

Chicago State University, founded in 1867, is the oldest public university in the Chicago Metropolitan area. The University’s five colleges offer over 70 undergraduate and graduate degree-granting and non-degree programs. CSU is committed to equity in education, serving as the only U.S. Department of Education-designated four-year Predominantly Black Institution in Illinois and ranked by a Harvard economist in the top 4% of public and private universities nationwide in supporting our graduates’ economic mobility. The University serves as a prominent civic space on the greater South Side of Chicago by hosting a multitude of athletic, educational, cultural, and recreational activities. The University is located near public transit that provides convenient access to the campus.