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headshot of Donald LassereDonald Lassere, Edgar D. and Deborah R. Jannotta President and CEO

February 2021

Donald Lassere will join the Chicago History Museum as the Edgar D. and Deborah R. Jannotta President and CEO on April 12, 2021. In his capacity as President and CEO, Mr. Lassere will serve as CHM’s primary champion, advocate, and spokesperson. He will be responsible for providing inspiring leadership and institutional cohesion, communicating the work and aspirations of the Museum, mobilizing support, and ensuring that the institution is represented and included in local, regional, and national conversations about Chicago history and culture.

Early in his tenure at CHM, Mr. Lassere’s priorities will be to lead the development of a strategic plan, improve the museum’s facilities, strengthen the CHM’s finances, and foster and maintain a positive and healthy culture.

Mr. Lassere currently serves as President and CEO of the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, Kentucky. Mr. Lassere joined the Muhammad Ali Center in 2012, where he has been responsible for fostering the Center’s mission and expanding its educational programs, partnerships, and other outreach initiatives. Among his accomplishments, Mr. Lassere facilitated a rebranding process and implemented a strategic plan that focused the Center on three primary programmatic areas: Education, Global Citizenship and Gender Equality.

In addition, Mr. Lassere, launched the Muhammad Ali Global Humanitarian Awards. The Humanitarian awards are designed to inspire and encourage young people worldwide to become actively involved in social justice issues that are impacting their communities, countries and the world. Furthermore, in 2019 working in partnership with the Trident Swimming Foundation, ESPN and Central High School, Mr. Lassere launched the Ali Stingrays swimmer scholars’ program.

Immediately prior to joining the Muhammad Ali Center, Mr. Lassere was Senior Vice President of Programs at Scholarship America where he oversaw Scholarship Management Services (SMS). During his tenure SMS administered upwards of 1,200+ scholarship, tuition reimbursement and education assistance programs that distributed over $160M annually in private education assistance. Furthermore, SMS contributed more than $10M annually in net revenue to Scholarship America. In addition, Mr. Lassere provided oversight for the organization’s grassroots programs, including the Dollars for Scholars (DFS) Program that had approximately 40,000 volunteers throughout the country.

Prior to his tenure at Scholarship America, Mr. Lassere spent over 20 years working at national and international for-profit corporations, including Gallup Consulting, Enron Corporation, Ernst & Young Consulting and Verizon.

Mr. Lassere currently serves as the Chairman of the Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau Board of Commissioners and sits on the Louisville Ballet Board of Directors. He is also an adjunct professor at the University of Louisville in the Entrepreneurial MBA Program where he teaches Leadership and Organizational Behavior.

Mr. Lassere holds a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center, an MBA from Harvard Business School, and a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of San Francisco.

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