Heather A. Steans chairs the Steans Family Foundation.
From 2008 through February, 2021 Heather represented Illinois’ 7th District in the State Senate. In the state senate, she chaired the Appropriations One Committee and led budget negotiations. She passed numerous complicated legislative initiatives, including marriage equality, taxing and regulating cannabis, reforming the state’s Medicaid program and nursing home regulations, and improving the environment by reducing mercury waste and creating commercial composting capabilities.
Heather graduated from Princeton with a B.A. in Urban Studies and received her M.A. in Public Policy from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Her professional career has focused on government finance, economic development and education reform. She is the former budget director of the Wisconsin Department of Industry, Labor and Human Relations, served as a strategic planner with Chicago Public Schools and was a consultant with Ernst & Young.
Heather and her husband Leo Smith live with their kids and dogs in the Edgewater neighborhood of Chicago.