Aurie Pennick is the Executive Director and Treasurer of the Field Foundation of Illinois, Inc., with responsibility for the oversight of approximately sixty million dollars in foundation assets. Ms. Pennick is an attorney with an extensive background in the nonprofit and public sector. Prior to her return to philanthropy she practiced law and served as a consultant to nonprofit organizations in the region. From 1992 to 2002, Ms. Pennick was the president and CEO of the Leadership Council for Metropolitan Open Communities, the only fair housing organization in the nation founded by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. From 1987 to 1992, Ms. Pennick was the Managing Attorney – Administration for the Chicago Transit Authority’s Legal Department. Before which she was the Assistant Director for Special Grants with the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation where she designed and implemented a multi-million dollar grant program for small and emerging community organizations. She began her career in philanthropy at the Chicago Community Trust as a fellow in the Trust’s Minority Fellowship Program.
Ms. Pennick has led several nonprofit organizations including founding Executive Director of the Greenhouse Shelter, the city’s first battered women’s shelter. She is an adjunct instructor in the Masters of Human Services Administration program at Spertus College and was a guest lecturer for the Center for Urban Redevelopment Excellence at the University of Pennsylvania. She co-authored an article on affordable housing in the book New Chicago published by Temple Press. Ms. Pennick was recently invited by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to be a panelist at their national conference in observance of the 40th anniversary of the passage of the Fair Housing Act.
Ms. Pennick has been the recipient of numerous awards and appointments which include appointment to the Chicago Police Board by the late Mayor Washington; appointment to the Official U.S. Delegation for the Habitat II Global Conference on Cities held in Istanbul, Turkey in 1996; awarded an Aspen Institute Fellowship in 2002; 2003 Human Relations Award by the Chicago Commission on Human Relations; and 2006 the Handy Lindsey Jr. Award and Lecture on Inclusiveness in Philanthropy by the Chicago African Americans in Philanthropy. Ms. Pennick’s oral history is documented on The History Makers website.
Ms. Pennick serves on the Boards of Trustees of the Field Museum and the Rush University Medical Center and the Adler School of Professional Psychology. She is a member of the Economic Club and the Commercial Club of Chicago. Ms. Pennick is the proud mother of two creative and award winning daughters – Faith and Keidra.