University of Illinois System

Governor J. B. Pritzker

Gov. J. B. Pritzker (Democrat) was sworn in as the 43rd Governor of Illinois on January 14, 2019.

Raised by his activist mother to fight for progressive values from a young age, Governor Pritzker has spent his life standing up for social and economic justice and expanding opportunity in communities across the state of Illinois.  

Those values led Governor Pritzker to become a national leader in early childhood education, working for decades to create and expand early learning programs for low income children. After years of dedication, Governor Pritzker was asked by President Obama in 2014 to help organize the White House Summit on Early Childhood Education. In Illinois, Governor Pritzker recognized that thousands of children across the state go school hungry, impeding their chance to succeed. So Governor Pritzker partnered with non-profits like the Greater Chicago Food Depository and Share our Strength to expand federal school breakfast grants in Illinois, ensuring 230,000 more kids could start their day off right.

As a businessman and entrepreneur, Governor Pritzker has helped create thousands of jobs in Illinois. In 2012,Governor Pritzker founded 1871, a non-profit small business incubator. 1871 brought together the educational and civic resources to support startup businesses and has already created more than 7,000 good-paying jobs in our state. Chicago was named one of the top ten technology startup hubs in the world, and 1871 was named the best incubator in the world. Governor Pritzker is committed to replicating that success in regions across the state.

A staunch advocate for righting historic wrongs and fighting discrimination, Governor Pritzker has stood against hatred and bigotry throughout his career. Governor Pritzker was a key supporter of the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University. The Center has become a national leader fighting to reform our criminal justice system, helping the accused prove their innocence. He also served as Chairman of the Illinois Human Rights Commission. As chairman, Governor Pritzker stood up for the rights of the disadvantaged, fighting for victims of gender, racial, religious, and sexual orientation discrimination and working to ensure people with disabilities have equal access to jobs and housing.

The descendant of Jewish immigrants, Governor Pritzker knows we must preserve the legacy of the Holocaust and honor the memories of those who were lost. So Governor Pritzker led the creation of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center, a nationally recognized institution where more than 60,000 students and teachers learn to fight bigotry, hatred, and intolerance every year.

Governor Pritzker and his wife of 25 years, MK, are the proud parents of a daughter, Teddi (16), and a son, Donny (14).

Governor Pritzker