Phyllis Lockett is a social entrepreneur who has led transformative efforts in education, government and civics. She is the founder and CEO of LEAP Innovations, a Chicago-based organization that connects innovation and education to transform students learning. LEAP works directly with educators and innovators nationwide to pilot, research and scale personalized learning technologies and innovative practices across classrooms and outside learning environments.
Before starting LEAP, Phyllis was a driving force behind Chicago’s charter movement. As founding president and CEO of New Schools for Chicago, she helped raise more than $70 million to support opening 80 new public schools. Her work more than tripled the number of charter schools and drove Chicago’s first magnet school replication. She previously served as executive director of the Civic Consulting Alliance (CCA), a pro bono consulting firm for government agencies, helping to shape the Chicago Transit Authority’s $2.8 billion capital improvement program and the Chicago Housing Authority’s 10-year, $1.5 billion Plan for Transformation. She also held marketing, sales and business development roles with Fortune 500 companies, including IBM, Kraft Foods and General Mills.
Currently, Phyllis is a board member of ASCD, an independent director of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago and serves as a board member on several civic organizations including The Economic Club of Chicago, The Chicago Network and the Adler Planetarium. She is also a member of the Commercial Club of Chicago and a Henry Crown Fellow with the Aspen Institute. Phyllis and LEAP have been recognized through several awards, including the Chicago Innovation Awards 2016 Social Innovation Award, and the ASU+GSV 2018 Innovator of Color Award. She earned a Master of Management degree from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University