Honorable Richard M. Daley

The longest-serving mayor in Chicago’s history, Richard M. Daley has earned an international reputation as a leading innovator in urban development, fiscal policy and government stewardship. As mayor, Mr. Daley enhanced Chicago’s quality of life, improved the public school system and infrastructure, strengthened the economy, reduced crime, improved transportation and made Chicago one of the most environmentally friendly cities in the world.

Mr. Daley transformed the Chicago economy by bringing cutting-edge businesses to the city. During his 22-year tenure as mayor, Chicago became a prominent player in the 21st century global economy, now ranking among the top economic centers and most influential cities worldwide. Mr. Daley pioneered a model of successful public-private partnerships that established Chicago as the benchmark for long-term sustainable urban growth and development. These partnerships, such as the city’s privatization of its Chicago Skyway, allowed Chicago to improve the state of its infrastructure and preserve much-needed social programs while other cities were forced to make concessions.

Throughout his career, Mr. Daley has maintained a commitment to unifying mayors across the United States and the world to tackle the challenges confronting cities. He served as the 54th president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, organized the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative in 2003 for the restoration of the Great Lakes and founded and chaired the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus for the Chicagoland region. Mr. Daley also made Chicago a hub for mayors globally by hosting the Sino-U.S. Mayors Summit in 2007 for municipal leaders of the United States and China, the Mayor’s Hemispheric Forum in 2007 for municipal leaders across the Americas, and the U.S.-Arab Cities Forum in 2008 for municipal leaders throughout the United States, Canada and the Arab world. Mr. Daley continues to speak internationally on the issue of sustainable urban development and work with global leaders on building the cities of tomorrow.

A former state senator and county prosecutor, Mr. Daley was elected mayor in 1989 and re-elected five times before deciding to retire from government in May of 2011. He now serves as the Executive Chairman of Tur Partners LLC, an investment and advisory firm focused on growth opportunities in global urban markets; Of Counsel to Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, an international law firm based in Chicago; a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy; a Director on the boards of The Coca-Cola Company and Diamond Resorts International; and a senior advisor to JP Morgan Chase, where he chairs the new “Global Cities Initiative,” a joint project of JP Morgan Chase and the Brookings Institution to help cities identify and leverage their greatest economic development resources.

About the Award

The iCON Civic Award acknowledges an individual or company that has made outstanding contributions to the innovation-based economy in Chicago, Illinois, and the Midwest.  This recipient represents or exemplifies consistent leadership in community service, economic infrastructure development and/or civic involvement.


Previous winners:

2015: The Searle Family (Accepted by Karie Thomson, Chair, Searle Family Consultants to the Searle Funds at the Chicago Community Trust)

2014: Bill Gantz, President & CEO, PathoCapital

2013: Baxter International (Accepted by Robert Parkinson, Chairman & CEO)

2012: Henry S. Bienen, President Emeritus, Northwestern University

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