Cara A. Hendrickson

Executive Director, BPI Board

Cara Hendrickson became BPI’s Executive Director in 2020. She is a change maker, passionate about using law and policy to tackle systemic inequities. Cara’s role as Executive Director is her second at BPI; earlier in her career, she was a Skadden Fellow at BPI, with a focus on housing and education issues.

Prior to becoming Executive Director of BPI, Cara served as the Chief of the Illinois Attorney General’s Public Interest Division for more than five years.  In that capacity, she supervised a Division with over 60 attorneys and staff who enforce civil rights, disability rights, workplace rights, and antitrust laws, in addition to conducting investigations and cases involving the False Claims Act, consumer fraud, and energy issues. At the Attorney General’s Office, Cara led a team of lawyers and staff that litigated and negotiated a wide-ranging consent decree to reform the Chicago Police Department.

An experienced litigator, Cara’s law practice focused on constitutional and civil rights litigation for more than eight years at Hughes Socol Piers Resnick & Dym, Ltd. She has also practiced at Massey & Gail, LLP, and Kirkland & Ellis, LLP.

Cara is a Commissioner on the Illinois Executive Ethics Commission, which promotes ethics in Illinois public service, and she serves on the board of the Public Interest Law Initiative and on the advisory board of the American Constitution Society, Chicago Chapter. She was a fellow in the 2014 class of Leadership Greater Chicago.

Cara served as a law clerk to the Honorable Ann Claire Williams, United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (Ret). She graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School and received her B.A. from Northwestern University.

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