Alaina oversees investments in research, policy, and practice that aim to improve conditions in cities, with a particular focus on information technologies and their application to urban planning, development, and governance.
Prior to joining the Foundation, Harkness staffed two special initiatives at the Chicago Community Trust: The Partnership for New Communities, a civic collaborative that supported Chicago’s public housing transformation, and the 2016 Fund for Chicago Neighborhoods.
Harkness holds master’s degrees in public policy and Latin American studies from the University of Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in political science and art history from the University of Rochester.
She is a Fellow of Leadership Greater Chicago, and serves on the boards of Chicago Women in Philanthropy, The Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities and the Harris School of Public Policy Studies Alumni Advisory Council.
Alaina Harkness works on the following MacArthur programs and projects:
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