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TONI IRVING is a multi-sector leader with a track record of success in government reform, public policy, corporate social responsibility, nonprofit management, strategy, and execution. An ESG expert with significant corporate strategy and social impact experience, Dr. Irving has established a consulting practice supporting Private Equity portfolio companies addressing a range of needs from risk management and governance to corporate culture and DEI.

As the Frank M. Sands, Sr. Professor of Practice at Darden Graduate School of Business, Dr. Irving writes, teaches, consults, and convenes around Strategy, Leadership, Organizational Behavior, Social Impact, ESG, Business Ethics, and Non-Profit Management. In Charlottesville and the DC area, she has established a practice providing pro bono capacity building assistance to local nonprofits engaging residential and executive MBA students enrolled at Darden.

In 2013 Dr. Irving launched Get IN Chicago, a $45m social venture and consulting fund that invests in the capacity and service delivery of community-based organizations, with a primary focus on improving the life conditions of at-risk youth and their families. The fund, focused on education and public health approaches to youth violence reduction, collaborated and shared learnings and strategy with corporations, local governments, health systems, and private philanthropy. Reporting to a corporate board including four Fortune 100 CEOs, Irving’s effort supported over 60 non-profits and culminated in the citywide launch of SYNC –an Irving designed care coordination system.

Previously, Dr. Irving served as Illinois Governor Pat Quinn’s Senior Advisor and Deputy Chief of Staff. Dr. Irving advised the governor on social and governance practices, supplier diversity, racial equity and inclusion, and community engagement for the state’s 13 million residents. As Deputy Chief of Staff for Public Safety and Human Services, she was responsible for operations, budgets, strategy, and policy development for an eight-billion-dollar portfolio. Dr. Irving lead state government through some of its most important challenges and opportunities including: leading the state’s utilization of ARRA Stimulus funds for a nationally recognized transitional jobs program that employed over 28,000 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) eligible individuals; decreasing the juvenile detention population by over 80%; overcoming labor union opposition to close two under-utilized state facilities; and passing landmark criminal justice reform legislation including abolishment of the death penalty. Dr. Irving is an expert at operating in complex and highly visible regulatory and media environments. As a result of her innovations in state government, Dr. Irving received the MacArthur Foundation “Champion for Change” award in 2011.

Dr. Irving holds a BA from the University of Virginia, an MA from the University of Kent in Canterbury, England, and a PhD from New York University. She is Vice Chair of the Program Committee for The Points of Light Foundation and Senior Fellow, Global Cities at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Previously, Dr. Irving Chaired the Illinois Human Services Commission, the Poverty Elimination Commission, and the Young Leaders Committee of the Economic Club. A Philadelphia native, Toni Irving splits her time between Charlottesville, Virginia and Washington D.C. where she is expanding Darden’s Executive Education offerings in ESG, DEI, and Non-Profit Management.

Notable Associations

Woman of Inspiration

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Points of Light Foundation Board Member

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Corporate Responsibility Group of Chicago

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