Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot announced that the Deputy Mayor for Education and Human Services, Dr. Sybil Madison, will serve as Chief of Staff effective June 2, 2021. Madison will become the second Black woman to hold the most senior leadership position in the Mayor’s Office. She will take over the role from Maurice Classen who has served as Chief of Staff since Mayor Lightfoot’s inauguration in May of 2019.
“Over the years, it has been an absolute pleasure to watch Sybil’s passion for equity, inclusion and public service deepen—values that are essential to have as the Chief of Staff of such a diverse team,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “Beyond these passions, Sybil also brings an impressive set of leadership and educational skills and experiences into this role which will help to ensure that our team builds on the work of these past 2 years and strengthens our ability to deliver value-driven outcomes for Chicagoans. I want to thank Sybil for her invaluable contributions as my Deputy Mayor for Education and Human Services, congratulate her on making history as Chicago’s first Black woman to serve as Chief of Staff. I also want to extend my heartfelt thanks to Maurice. Maurice has been at the center of all of the good things this Administration has accomplished over the last two years. He has been my confidante, my supporter, and has challenged me and us in ways that have inured to the benefit of all Chicagoans. Amy and I are extremely grateful for his leadership and sacrifice and wish him well as he takes time to be with his family and get some well-deserved rest.”
Prior to becoming Chief of Staff, Madison oversaw the city’s education and human services departments including Chicago Public Schools, the Department of Public Health, City Colleges, the Department of Family Support Services, the Mayor’s Office of People with Disabilities, the Park District, Chicago Public Library, and the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership. In this role, she helped to lead the City’s equitable response to the COVID-19 pandemic including the launch of the Racial Equity Rapid Response Team. Additionally, she oversaw Chicago Public Schools and was a lead advisor during school reopening negotiations and the 2019 Chicago Teachers’ Union strike. Her senior advisor, Amrit Mehra, will serve as Interim Deputy Mayor until a permanent replacement is appointed.