Adele Smith Simmons
Senior Executive, Metropolis Strategies
Adele Simmons is a senior executive at Metropolis Strategies where she focuses on environmental and sustainability issues, and provided leadership for the 2009 Burnham Plan Centennial. She was co-chair of the Task Force that developed a Climate Action Plan for the city of Chicago, and is a member of the Green Ribbon Committee that is helping to implement the Plan. She served as a co-chair of the Council on Global Affairs study group on Chicago’s global future.
Mrs. Simmons was President of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for a decade, overseeing grants of over $175 million a year, including an annual $25 million program for Chicago. The foundation’s international programs focus on the environment, population, international peace and security, understanding inequality within and among nations and climate change.
Mrs. Simmons is currently on the Board of Marsh and McLennan Companies and chairs their board committee on Social Responsibility. She is also on a number of non-profit organizations, including the Field Museum, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, the Economic Club of Chicago, Demos and The American Prospect, the Synergos Institute, the Weil Foundation, and the Union of Concerned Scientists. She served as a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Redesign Initiative.
She served on President Carter’s Commission on World Hunger and President Bush’s Commission on Sustainable Development and was a member of the Commission on Global Governance as well as the UN High Level Advisory Board on Sustainable Development. Before joining the MacArthur Foundation, Mrs. Simmons was President of Hampshire College, Dean of Students and Assistant Professor of History at Princeton University, and Dean of Jackson College at Tufts University. She also served as the Economist reporter for North Africa from 1968-1969.