Executive Director, Benefit Chicago
Dr. William W. Towns is a scholar, activist, and practitioner, dedicated to helping
solve civic and urban issues at the structural level. He is the Executive Director of
Benefit Chicago and an Adjunct Lecturer of Social Impact at the Kellogg School of
Management at Northwestern University.
Benefit Chicago is mobilizing $100 million in impact investments targeting the
social enterprise sector in the Chicago region. He came to Benefit Chicago from
the University of Chicago, where he was an Assistant Vice President and led the
Office of Civic Engagement’s Anchor Strategy, which looked to understand how a
university could support equitable economic change.
Dr. Towns serves on numerous boards and committees, within the housing, health
care, banking and education sectors, including the Chicago Community Land Trust
Board, the Advisory Council on Agriculture, Small Business and Labor for the
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, and Chicago Innovation. He is a frequent
speaker on topics ranging from impact investing, corporate social innovation,
women in the workplace and civic engagement.
He received a BA from Loyola University Chicago, an MBA from the University
of Notre Dame, and a Ph.D., from Benedictine University.