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Jerry Stermer was President of Voices for Illinois Children from the group’s inception in 1987 until 2009. With support from the Annie E. Casey Foundation and other philanthropies Voices was successful in advocating many positive improvements in child and family policies including Preschool for All, a state Earned Income Tax Credit and the creation of an independent Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice. From 2009 to 2015 he served in the office of Illinois Governor Pat Quinn as chief of staff and was Director of the Illinois Office of Management and Budget.
Mr. Stermer also worked at the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago and the state legislature where he was Executive Director of the Legislative Advisory Committee on Public Aid. He has served in key leadership roles with a variety of government and private groups including the United Way of Illinois, the Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation, the Illinois Child Support Advisory Committee, the Illinois Early Learning Council and Voices for America’s Children.
After serving as a volunteer in the Peace Corps in Ecuador in the late 1960’s, he earned a Master’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Chicago. In addition to his career in non profits and government he taught courses in government and social policy at several Illinois universities including Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois where he was an adjunct professor in the School of Education and Social Policy from 2002 to 2018. The Northwestern University Associated Student Government named him to the 2018-2019 Honor Roll for his Reforming State Governments course.
At the University of New Mexico he has taught Public Policy and Administration courses in 2019 and 2020.
After retirement from state government, he and his wife Nancy who have two adult children moved to Corrales, New Mexico in 2018.