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In The Arena

Jun 11, 2019

Kimberly Foxx is unapologetic for where she came from and what she believes in. Foxx grew up in the 1970s and ’80s in Chicago’s infamous Cabrini-Green public housing project, a development known for high crime rates and police neglect. Her family later moved to the more affluent Lincoln Park, but her background shaped her in meaningful ways. After moving, she started to notice the disparate opportunities available to her new neighbors versus those from her old housing project.

That seed later grew, driving Foxx to leave her position in insurance law to work with the Cook County Public Guardian’s office representing children in the foster care system. This role cemented her desire to work in public service. Foxx eventually served as an assistant state’s attorney for 12 years. In 2016, she challenged — and beat — the incumbent Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez to become the first African-American to hold the position. As top prosecutor of the nation’s second-largest county, Foxx oversees more than 1,000 people. In this role she has worked to make the office more transparent, advocate for bond reform and vacate dozens of wrongful convictions.

These efforts drew Governing magazine’s attention, recognizing her one as a member of its 2019 Women in Government Leadership Program.