Tawa has responsibility for grantmaking in the Chicago Commitment program, a portfolio aimed at investing in people, places, and partnerships to advance racial equity and build a more inclusive Chicago.
Prior to joining MacArthur, Tawa served as the Director of Education Policy and Partnerships in the Office of Mayor Rahm Emanuel. In this role, Tawa focused on supporting educational opportunities across the K-16 spectrum. Tawa also served as the inaugural Interim Director for Thrive Chicago, a multi-sector collective that aims to increase equitable outcomes for Chicago’s youth. Previously, Tawa served as Executive Director of Strategic Partnerships at the City Colleges of Chicago. Prior to that, Tawa also served as Assistant to Mayor Richard M. Daley for Education and worked at the Chicago Public Schools as Senior Manager of the Community Schools Initiative.
Tawa holds a Master of Arts degree from the University of Chicago’s Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice, a Bachelor of Arts degree from Spelman College, and she is a Class of 2018 Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow, the region’s premier civic leadership development program.
A native Chicagoan, Tawa dedicates much of her extracurricular time to community service. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Chicago Women in Philanthropy, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Illinois, and the Parks Foundation of Oak Park. Tawa is also a member of the Theta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, and the Lake Shore Chapter of the Links, Incorporated, organizations dedicated to community service.