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CEO Selection Process

As the district begins its search for our next chief executive officer, we will be engaging students, staff, and families over the next several months to ensure that every member of our community has a voice in helping shape the future of Chicago Public Schools.

Overview and Timeline

Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the Board of Education are looking for a leader who shares our commitment to equity, transparency, and integrity, and potential candidates should also be ready to listen to and partner with families and community partners across the city.

To help lead this inclusive and transparent selection process, the Board has hired BWP & Associates, an Illinois-based executive search firm with experience conducting national superintendent searches. More information about the timeline and process for engaging stakeholders and ultimately selecting our next leader can be found below.

 Community Engagement

  Mid-May to Early June

BWP & Associates conducted interviews, focus groups, and public surveys to ensure various stakeholder groups have a voice in the selection process.

 Application Window Opens

  Mid-May to Mid-June

The job description was posted and candidates were able to apply for the position through June 18.

 Initial Interviews

  Early to Late June

Prospective candidates were screened on a rolling basis and initial interviews were conducted.

 Semifinalist Interviews

  Early July

A selection committee composed of Board members, CPS and City leaders, as well as a teacher, principal, and two parents will interview semifinalists.

 Finalist Interviews


Mayor Lightfoot and Board President del Valle will conduct final interviews and identify a recommendation for the district’s next CEO.

 Next CEO Selected

  Late July

After an offer has been accepted, the district will announce its next CEO to the public.

Community Engagement

Parents and community partners will be able to participate in the CEO selection process in several different ways.


All CPS stakeholders were encouraged to complete our survey by June 11, 2021 to help the district determine the qualities, experiences, and priorities that are most important to our staff, families, and community partners. The survey was available in English, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, and Polish.

Focus Groups and Stakeholder Interviews

CPS will be inviting more than 300 students, parents, staff, LSC members, and community partners to gather feedback about the qualities we want in a new leader for our school district.

To ensure diverse voices are heard and presented, we ask community members to complete this interest form if they wish to participate in one of 30 focus groups that will be conducted in the coming weeks. Focus group participants will be selected from a randomized lottery should interest exceed capacity. There will also be Spanish-only focus groups to ensure our Latinx families are heard and engaged while we search for a new CEO.

In addition to our larger focus group discussions, BWP & Associates will interview key partners, including labor leaders and elected officials, to ensure their priorities are considered.


Over the next several months, BWP & Associates will be releasing a report every two weeks to provide an update on the selection process. These reports will be regularly added to this page.