Rita Athas

Term Expires: January 13, 2023

Member - Academic Affairs, Student Affairs and Personnel Committee
Member - Finance, Audit, Compliance, Facilities and Operations Committee
Vice Chair - Research and Innovation, Legal and Legislative Affairs Committee

Office Address

Board of Trustees
Northern Illinois University
Altgeld Hall 300
DeKalb, IL 60115

Professional Experience

  • Senior Advisor, World Business Chicago
  • President/CEO, World Business Chicago
  • Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of the Mayor, City of Chicago
  • Executive Director, Northwest Municipal Conference 


  • Master’s degree, Northern Illinois University, Public Administration
  • Bachelor’s degree, Elmhurst College

Selected Leadership and Public Service

  • NIU Alumni Association, advocacy committee chair 2018-19
  • NIU Alumni Association, vice president 2013-18
  • Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) vice president 2013-  present
  • World Business Chicago Board of Directors 2013-present
  • Chicago Sister Cities International 2014-present
  • Great Lakes Commissioner 
  • Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, secretary
  • Great Lakes Cities Initiative, treasurer
  • Chicago NATO Summit, host committee 
  • Metropolis 2020

Selected Awards and Recognitions

  • NIU Distinguished Alumni Award, 2012
  • NIU Alumni Award, College of Liberal Arts and Science, 2012
  • Honorary Doctor of Law Degree, Elmhurst College, 2012
  • Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow