Former U.S. Secretary of Education
Managing Partner, Emerson Collective
Former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan returned to Chicago on a mission to improve the lives of young adults in his hometown. As managing partner at Emerson Collective, an organization dedicated to removing barriers to opportunity so people can live to their full potential, Duncan aims to create job and life opportunities for disconnected youth between the ages of 17 and 24 through partnerships with local business leaders, community organizers, and nonprofit groups. Emerson Collective centers its work on education, immigration reform, the environment and other social justice initiatives.
Prior to joining the Obama Administration, Duncan served as chief executive officer of Chicago Public Schools. From 2001 to 2008, Duncan won praise for uniting the city’s stakeholders behind an education agenda that included opening 100 new schools; expanding after-school, summer learning, early childhood, and college access programs; dramatically boosting the caliber of teachers; and building public-private partnerships around a variety of education initiatives. Duncan graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1987, majoring in sociology. At Harvard he served as co-captain of the basketball team and was named a first team Academic All-American.
John W. Rogers, Jr.
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Ariel Investments
John’s passion for investing began at age 12, when his father began buying him stocks as Christmas and birthday gifts. His interest in equities grew at Princeton University, where he majored in economics, and over the two-plus years he worked as a stockbroker for William Blair & Company, LLC. In 1983, John founded Ariel Investments to employ a patient, value strategy in small and medium-size companies. He strongly believes in giving back to Chicago, sitting on the corporate boards of Exelon and McDonald’s, and serving as trustee to the University of Chicago. Additionally, he is a trustee of Rush University Medical Center and a life trustee of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Nationally, John is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a director of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights. In 2008, he was awarded Princeton University’s highest honor, the Woodrow Wilson Award, presented each year to the alumnus whose career embodies a commitment to national service.
Following the election of President Barack Obama, John served as co-chair for the Presidential Inaugural Committee 2009, and more recently, he joined the Barack Obama Foundation’s Board of Directors. In 2013, John was featured alongside legendary investors Warren Buffett, Sir John Templeton and Benjamin Graham in the distinguished book: The World’s 99 Greatest Investors by Magnus Angenfelt. John received an AB in economics from Princeton University, where he was also captain of the varsity basketball team.