About Bridget Gainer
Bridget Gainer brings a unique perspective to civic and business life with an accomplished career in both public and private sectors. Bridget is a Vice President of Global Public Affairs for Aon and a Commissioner on the County Board, bringing over 20 years of experience in non-profit, government and corporate sectors. Bridget began her career as a community organizer in New York City; she continued that work in Chicago where she founded a community center at Senn High School. Bridget then went to work for the City of Chicago in a variety of roles focused on public private partnerships. In 2001, she began working at Aon, a global risk management firm, beginning in finance with a focus on mergers and acquisitions and treasury. She later transitioned to manage the firm’s strategic engagement with governments around the world. This role has taken Bridget across the globe, with significant experience in the EU and UK and most recently to China, where she is working with governments and business on bringing youth apprentice programs to the financial services sector.
Elected to the Cook County Board in 2010, Bridget called for the creation of a Pension Committee and was appointed its first Chairman. As Chair, Ms. Gainer brought transparency to the County’s Fund and launched an open-data pension website to facilitate fair and sustainable pension reform.
In 2013 Commissioner Gainer completed three years of organizing and outreach with the creation of the Cook County Land Bank, the region’s most comprehensive response to reduce the amount and impact of vacant land and abandoned buildings throughout Cook County. This independent entity will acquire housing and vacant commercial industrial buildings to return them to productive use. The land bank is governed by a 16-member board, chaired by Commissioner Gainer.
Since joining the Cook County Board, Bridget has devoted special interest to the women and children in the County’s criminal justice system. She created the first citizen advisory Board for the Juvenile Detention Center and lead the fight against felony prostitution and the other non-violent offenses that incarcerate thousands of women annually in Cook County.
Commissioner Gainer’s policy work has been written about in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Crain’s and editorial boards across the region. In addition, she has been the recipient of awards from Action Now, Woodstock Institute, the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, the Urban Land Institute and Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights.
A native of Chicago, Bridget lives on the Northside of Chicago with her husband and three children and sits on the boards of the Big Shoulders Fund and the 100 Club of Chicago.