POLS Advisory Board

Robin Kelly, Congressowman, Illinois' 2nd District

Robin KellyCongresswoman Robin Kelly was elected to represent Illinois’ 2nd District on April 9, 2013.

As a former State Representative, Kelly brings extensive legislative experience to the 2nd District. She successfully sponsored bills to protect consumers from fraud, support economic development and increase the minimum wage. She also led the fight for landmark legislation to protect victims of domestic violence and improve public safety.

During her tenure in the Illinois Legislature, Kelly mentored progressive candidates and encouraged new leaders, including one of her colleagues, Barack Obama, in his successful 2004 bid for U.S. Senate. Most recently, Kelly was Chief Administrative Officer of Cook County, where she was responsible for managing the day-to-day operations and implementing policy for the second largest county in the United States.

Kelly has also served as chief of staff in the Illinois State Treasurer’s Office. As the first African American woman to serve as chief of staff for a constitutional officer in Illinois, Kelly pursued a progressive agenda rooted in promoting small business job creation, investment strategy innovation, eliminating food deserts and advancing financial literacy in underserved areas. She also helped to transform the Treasurer’s Office – an agency that manages as much as $17 billion in state funds – by improving efficiencies, streamlining expenses and demanding stronger ethical guidelines.

A New York native, Kelly moved to Illinois after high school to attend Bradley University in Peoria, where she earned her B.A. in psychology and a M.A. in counseling. She later received a Ph.D. in political science from Northern Illinois University.

Kelly serves on a number of boards and commissions, including the Cook County Human Rights Commission, the Hate Crimes Commission and the board of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability. She also serves as a Bradley University Trustee and is a board member of the Bradley University Council. In 2009, she was inducted into the university’s Centurion Society for honored alumni. She is also an active member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc.

Kelly lives in Matteson with her husband, Dr. Nathaniel Horn and has two adult children, Kelly and Ryan.