Allen-Meares makes list of 100 influential Chicago women

Paula Allen-MearesToday’s Chicago Woman named University of Illinois at Chicago Chancellor Paula Allen-Meares one of its “100 Women of Influence” in its July 2013 issue.

The list, which the monthly magazine began in 2011 with “100 Women Making a Difference” and continued last year with “100 Women to Watch,” includes “smart, powerful women” at various career stages and from all sectors, including finance, government, philanthropy, arts, education and health care, according to the magazine.

This year’s list was selected for their importance within their fields and to the city.

As chancellor at UIC, Allen-Meares heads Chicago’s largest university and a major academic research center. An international expert on the intersections of education, human services and mental health disparities, she was appointed chancellor and John Corbally Presidential Professor in 2009.

UIC has more than 27,500 students, and with 12,000 faculty and staff is one of Chicago’s 20 largest employers. The campus has an operating budget of $2 billion, and its 15 colleges include the nation’s largest college of medicine. UIC also operates the state’s major public hospital and regional health sciences campuses in Peoria, Rockford and Urbana-Champaign.

“I am deeply honored to be listed with the 99 other Chicagoans on the list,” Allen-Meares said.  ”I know a few of them personally, and more than a few have been inspirational to me. I salute their achievement and service, and I hope we in turn can inspire others.”

A member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, Allen-Meares has served the prestigious organization as a section co-chair and as a member of its group on health disparities. She is also a trustee of the New York Academy of Medicine and a member of the Royal Society of Medicine.

As chancellor at UIC, she oversaw the creation of new programs, such as the bioengineering partnership between the College of Engineering and the College of Medicine. She created the Faculty Discovery Fund-Chancellor’s Innovation Fund to support UIC discoveries and seed investments in startups; the Supplemental Graduate Student Fellow Fund; and expanded the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program. She led the “Brilliant Futures” fundraising campaign for UIC, which at its conclusion in 2012 had raised $678 million, the most ever raised by UIC, exceeding its goal of $650 million. She also encouraged creation of the Global Excellence Committee.

Since coming to Chicago, Allen-Meares has become a board member of the Civic Consulting Alliance, which advises Mayor Rahm Emanuel; a member of the American Council on Education’s Commission on Racial and Ethnic Equity; and a board member of the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities. She is currently serving on a grantee-advisory council for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

She is active with several civic groups, including the Executives Club, the Chicago Economics’ Club, the Commercial Club, the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, the Chicago Network, the City of Chicago’s Green Ribbon Committee and the economic committee for the Cook County Board president.

Her previous academic positions have been at UIC’s sister campus in Urbana-Champaign and at the University of Michigan, where she was dean of the School of Social Work. She holds certificates in management from the University of Michigan and Harvard University. She has authored or coauthored over 160 publications and several books, including the recently released “Cross Cultural Research,” from Oxford Press. She is the co-principal investigator of the Skillman Good Neighborhoods Grant.

Recently Allen-Meares has received research grants from the Illinois Board of Higher Education and the National Institutes of Health for the Integrated Behavioral Health Project, which delivered $1.4 million in support of a project by a team of UIC’s outstanding researchers.