Brenna Berman

Executive Director, City Digital at UI LABS

Brenna Berman

Brenna Berman

Executive Director, City Digital at UI LABS

Biography

Chicago Department of Innovation and Technology (DoIT) Commissioner and CIO, Brenna Berman joined the Emanuel administration in 2011 as Deputy Budget Director focused on enterprise initiatives and performance management. After a year in that role, Brenna transitioned to DoIT as 1st Deputy Commissioner to focus on enterprise IT consolidation and operational excellence. Over the past year at DoIT, Berman has focused transforming the team at DoIT to align with the Mayor’s commitment to an open and data-driven government, building Chicago’s open data program into one of the largest in the country, implemented the ground-breaking “WindyGrid” spatial analytics platform into every level of government, integrating advanced analytics and real-time data-driven decision making across the city, and setting a new standard for government IT.

Berman played a critical role in transforming the team at DoIT to provide the skills and expertise to implement the Mayor’s commitment to leveraging data and technology to create a more efficient, effective and innovative City government. This has meant adding new skills to the team to increase the focus on software engineering and analytics, improving the department’s commercial partnerships to drive savings for the City and identifying ground-breaking civic partnerships, including hosting regular meetings with local female tech startup owners.

Berman built a career promoting government innovation during over 10 years at IBM, where she worked closely with government agencies in cities and countries across the world to leverage technology and analytics to improve the services they provide to their residents. Berman advised governments on a variety of issues, from targeting personalized services through analytics to normalizing program offerings to simplify the delivery process and make them understandable to residents. Throughout her time at IBM, Berman tailored cutting-edge business and data models, from processes to analytic algorithms for large government organizations in order to accelerate their own modernization efforts, providing an incredibly valuable skill set for the work she continues at DoIT.

Brenna earned her bachelor’s degree and Masters in Public Policy from the University of Chicago. She resides in Chicago with her husband and two sons.

Overview
Career Highlights

UI LABS

RelSci Relationships

391

Number of Boards

2

Number of Awards

1

Contact Data
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President at Chicago Council On Science & Technology

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Chief Executive Officer & Secretary at UI LABS

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President & Chief Executive Officer at The Field Museum of Natural History

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Faculty Member at Boston University

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Former Chief Information Officer & Senior Vice President at Exelon Corporation

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President Emeritus at Illinois Institute of Technology

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President & Chief Executive Officer at Museum of Science and Industry - Chicago

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Founder & Chief Executive Officer at Torshen Capital Management LP

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Former President at Alabama Public Service Commission

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Member of the Editorial Board at Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology

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Brenna Berman
Executive Director, City Digital at UI LABS
Education
Bachelor's Degree

The University of Chicago's Office of Investments (COI) is responsible for managing the University's investment assets, which includes overseeing the endowment to ensure that it benefits both current and future generations of the University of Chicago. COI oversees the broad investment strategy and provides input to the development of the strategic and tactical investment policies of the University & UCMC endowments, pension plans and self-insurance trust assets. Their strategy combines qualitative and quantitative analysis, seeking to achieve superior investment performance on a risk-adjusted basis.COI's approach seeks to evaluate the investment strategy as an integrated part of the operating plans of the University rather than in isolation and focuses the the University's overall success, not investment returns. The endowment is well-diversified across a variety of asset classes, including global stocks and bonds, real estate, natural resources, private equity, absolute return strategies and protection (tail-hedging strategies). Asset class exposure is achieved primarily by selecting and engaging external managers. COI manages the global macro and the overlay portfolio to ensure that the portfolio's overall positioning is compliance with the endowment's investment guidelines.COI's strategies for investing in the public markets include: Absolute Return, Private Debt, Fixed Income and Credit. and Global Equities.COI's real assets team invests globally in real estate and natural resources using outside managers. The real estate portfolio invests globally in value-added and opportunistic strategies using both private partnerships and public vehicles. The natural resources portfolio invests globally in strategies that include, but are not limited to: oil and gas exploration & production; power generation; infrastructure; timber; mining and minerals; and agriculture.

Masters in Public Policy

The mission of Chicago Harris is to understand and influence public policies—both through research and by preparing talented individuals to become global leaders and agents of social change. A liaison between academic policy research and practitioners in the field, we equip students to make an impact on the problems facing people and institutions around the globe.

Career History
Executive Director, City Digital
2017 - Current

To solve large-scale technological and societal issues by forming industry-driven consortia to close the gap between innovation and commercialization.

Chief Information Officer
2011 - 2017

The City of Chicago covers an area of 60,000 hectares and sits 176 meters (578 feet) above sea level on the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan. At 190 km wide and 495 km long, its the 5th largest body of fresh water in the world. The city is traversed by the Chicago and Calumet rivers. Chicago's extensive parklands, including 3,000 hectares of city parks attract an estimated 86 million visitors annually. As a multicultural city that thrives on the harmony and diversity of its neighborhoods, Chicago today embodies the values of America's heartland-integrity, hard work and community and reflects the ideals in the social fabric of its 77 distinct neighborhoods. Chicago is recognized across the United States as a very passionate sports town. Chicago is a leader in reforming public schools, enhancing public safety and security initiatives, providing affordable housing in attractive and economically sound communities, ensuring accessibility for all and fostering, social, economic and environmental sustainability.

Professional
Prior

The International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) is an American multinational technology and consulting corporation, with headquarters in Armonk, New York, United States. IBM manufactures and markets computer hardware and software, and offers infrastructure, hosting and consulting services in areas ranging from mainframe computers to nanotechnology.

Boards & Committees
Member, Board of Directors
Current

To be the preeminent regional consortium for science and technology-related education and policy

Secretary, Board of Directors
Prior

TO BUILD COMMUNITY, HOPE AND OPPORTUNITY FOR YOUTH WHO ARE HOMELESS BY ADDRESSING THEIR IMMEDIATE NEEDS AND HELPING THEM ACHIEVE INDEPENDENCE AND STABLE HOUSING.

Awards & Honors
2014
Crain's Chicago Business Magazine - Tech 50
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