Ethics

Leadership

  • Steven I. Berlin
  • Executive Director
Steven Berlin - Executive Director

Steve Berlin was appointed as the Executive Director of the Board of Ethics by then Mayor Rich Daley and confirmed by the City Council for this position in December 2008.  Before that appointment, he served as the Board’s Acting Executive Director, from October 2006, and began his City career in September 1993 as the Board’s Deputy Director. In his years with the City, he has implemented several changes to the City’s ethics and campaign financing laws, including a recent major overhaul, under Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and has advised tens of thousands of City employees, officials, lobbyists and contractors on complying with the letter and spirit of the City’s ethics laws.

Steve appears regularly at conferences and panels as an expert on ethics in government, has authored several articles, was recently elected to a 3-year term as a member of the Steering Committee of COGEL (the Council on Government Ethics Laws, an international organization), and heads COGEL’s Publications Committee.  In June 2012, he served as a State Department Legislative Fellow in the Republic of Georgia, advising officials there on establishing and maintaining government ethics institutions, and also served as an adviser to the Lt. Governor's committee to rewrite the Illinois Governmental Ethics Act. He is a member of the Chicago Bar Association's Government Lawyer Committee, and an adjunct member of the American Law Institute's Principles of Government Ethics project.

He received his J.D. in 1984 from Northwestern University's School of Law, and received his B.A. in history, cum laude, from Amherst College in 1980.  In 1991, he earned an M.A. in Ethics from the University of Chicago’s Divinity School.  He began his legal career with Altheimer & Gray in 1984 and then worked for Rudnick & Wolfe (now DLA Piper), both in Chicago.  He also worked as Research Attorney for the American Judicature Society, and was a Fellow with the Park Ridge Center for Health, Faith and Ethics.  From 1991-2013, he taught Business Ethics and the Arts as an Adjunct Professor at Columbia College Chicago. He graduated from New Trier High School West in 1976.  He lives in River North, and is the proud father of two daughters.

Steve is both a Cubs and White Sox fan, living proof that this is indeed possible.

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