CHICAGO, March 16, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Today Public Allies is honored to announce the appointment of Mark Payne, Public Allies Chicago alumnus ('97), to the role of Executive Director for Public Allies Chicago. As Executive Director, Mark assumes the helm of the oldest, continuous-running site in the PA network with a rich history of addressing the systemic inequities in one of the largest cities in the country. Public Allies Chicago was launched 29 years ago under the leadership of former First Lady Michelle Obama. Payne returns to Public Allies as an alumnus of the program with over 20 years of experience in government, community relations, economic development and youth development. He served the City of Chicago in various Public Safety senior policy roles, including Deputy Chief of Staff to the Mayor. He previously served as Executive Director of CeaseFire Illinois.
"I'm grateful and excited to return to the Public Allies family at this pivotal time in both Chicago and our country," said Payne. "My goal is to build upon the incredible legacy of Public Allies Chicago and strengthen it as the premier pipeline for emerging leaders who will be trained, connected, and deployed in their communities - especially those hardest hit by the pandemic."
As the Deputy Chief of Staff / Public Safety for Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Payne served as liaison to five Public Safety Departments. While serving as Deputy Director to the Superintendent's Office at the Chicago Police Department he developed a key partnership with DePaul University's Egan Urban Center to revitalize and restructure the Community Alternative Policing Program. (CAPS). He retrained the entire CAPS staff (sworn and civilian) in Asset Based Community Engagement methods. He also served as a co-facilitator for the National League of Cities Black Male Achievement Initiative and served on the leadership team of Mayor Emanuel's Commission for a Safer Chicago as well as the Department of Justice's National Forum on Youth Violence.
"We're thrilled to welcome Mark Payne back and given his depth of experience, we have faith and excitement about the future path he'll forge for Public Allies Chicago," said Jenise Terrell, Vice President of Programs. "As First Lady Michelle Obama states in her book Becoming, 'Public Allies is all about promise — finding it, nurturing it, and putting it to use. It was a mandate to seek out young people whose best qualities might otherwise be overlooked and to give them a chance to do something meaningful.' The ascension of one of Public Allies' own alumni into the role of Executive Director is a fulfillment of its mission: to advance justice and equity, and the diverse leadership necessary to sustain it."