Bridget Gainer brings a unique perspective to civic life with more than 25 years of experience in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. She is the vice president of global public affairs for Aon and a commissioner on the Cook County Board. Her career at Aon has spanned finance and strategy. Most recently, Gainer has led the effort to bring apprenticeships to the financial services sector through the launch of Aon’s Chicago Apprenticeship Program. In January 2017, Aon partnered with Chicago City Colleges to hire 26 young men and women from neighborhoods across the city as apprentices in Aon’s Chicago office, where they receive a competitive salary and on-the-job training.
Gainer was elected to the Cook County Board in 2010 and has brought both finance credentials and a strong commitment to Chicago to lead on several fronts. Gainer’s first act as a county commissioner was to create the Cook County Pension Committee. As chairman, Gainer has led the charge to find a pension reform solution that was fair to both taxpayers and the workforce. She also started and chairs the Cook County land bank, the region’s most comprehensive response to the foreclosure crisis. The land bank is a social enterprise with 400 homes in development and works with more than 100 community-based developers.
Gainer is a graduate of the University of Illinois Urbana and has an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Most recently, and with the support of United States Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Bridget launched a Chicago chapter of Off the Sidelines in Chicago to encourage more women to ‘take their ideas to action.’ She has quickly grown the organization to 2,500 members.