Lightfoot announces transition team leadership


Chicago Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot

Chicago Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot has named five advisers for her transition team.

Maurice Classen, Lisa Schneider-Fabes, Manuel Perez, Ra Joy and Sarah Pang will be “special advisers” to her transition team.

“We have a lot of hard work ahead to bring about the change Chicagoans demanded on April 2. I am proud to entrust Ra, Sarah, Manny, Maurice and Lisa to advise us as we set up this administration to be both bold and effective,” Lightfoot said. “Together, we can deliver on the broad mandate for change given to us by voters all across Chicago.”

  • Classen will serve as chief of staff for the transition. He long served as a program officer focused on criminal justice reform and violence reduction at the MacArthur Foundation before joining the Chicago Police Department as an adviser on strategic transformation. At CPD he focused on improvements in community policing, increased training, using data and community partnerships to build safe streets, and enforcement of reform mandates under the consent decree. He served on the Chicago Police Accountability Task Force under Lightfoot’s leadership. Before the MacArthur Foundation, Classen as a prosecutor led programs that focused on reducing domestic violence, using community engagement to improve public safety, and reducing crime while building alternatives to incarceration. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in international politics from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and earned his juris doctorate at the University of Washington School of Law.
  • Schneider-Fabes will serve as the transition manager. She brings a background in housing, education and management to the transition. At the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, she helped local governments and HUD clients comply with public housing regulations and environmental laws. At the Chicago Public Schools, Schneider-Fabes led projects for the CEO and chief education officer, focusing on the quality and experience of teachers and principals. For the last 14 years, she has run her own consultancy, providing project management, strategic planning, program design and evaluation for not-for-profit and public sector clients, including Chicago’s Police Accountability Task Force. Schneider-Fabes holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from the University of Michigan and a J.D. from Chicago Kent College of Law.
  • Pérez will serve as intergovernmental affairs adviser for the transition. He most recently served as campaign manager for the Lightfoot campaign for mayor. He has led campaigns at the local, state and federal level, including Congressman Jesús “Chuy” Garcia’s successful run for Congress in 2018. In Cook County government, Perez has served as special assistant to the president of the County Board, chief of staff to the county clerk, and chief of staff to then-Commissioner Garcia. He graduated from Princeton University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and resides in the Pilsen neighborhood.
  • Joy, who will serve as a senior adviser, is a civic entrepreneur, organizer and activist. With a career that spans public policy, issue advocacy, civic engagement, coalition building and the arts, Joy specializes in bringing diverse people and organizations together to pursue policy reform and social change. He previously served as executive director of CHANGE Illinois (Coalition for Honest and New Government Ethics), a nonpartisan statewide coalition leading systemic political and government reform. Prior to his work in democracy reform, Joy served as executive director of Arts Alliance Illinois, an arts advocacy and service organization. From 2001-07, Joy served as a senior aide to U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-9th). Ra holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and government from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.
  • Pang, who will serve as senior adviser, is the president of the One Chicago Fund, which contributes to building Chicago’s population in thriving, safe, affordable neighborhoods. She was CNA’s senior vice president of corporate communications from 2001-18. Pang spent nine years as first deputy chief of staff to Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and served as liaison to federal, state and local government officials, civic organizations and private sector partners. She has served on the board of the Civic Federation, Chinese American Service League and Lincoln Park Zoo. Pang holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and government from the University of Iowa.

Additional appointees to the transition are expected to be announced in the coming days.