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Dawn Reese

About

Dawn Frances Reese is the Director of Strategy for the Cleveland Avenue Foundation for Education, The CAFE. The CAFE supports and mentors underserved Chicago students & professionals by investing in organizations focused on college access and career success. Dawn Frances brings vast career experience spanning start-ups in advocacy, venture capital, and higher education focused on organizational advancement and strategic investments. Before moving to Chicago in 2012, Dawn Frances led and then sold her family’s real-estate investment firm in Mobile, Alabama.

Most recently, she was the Associate Director for Advancement for Urban Labs at the University of Chicago, with a focus on improving lives in the five key areas of Education, Crime, Poverty, Health and Energy & Environment. Before joining Urban Labs, Dawn was Senior Associate of Business Development working with the Clean Energy Trust, an accelerator focused on early stage clean energy businesses in the Midwest.

Dawn Frances sits on the board of City Year Chicago, The Development Leadership Consortium, Congo Square Theatre and Urban Initiatives. She is a 2019 Chicago Urban League IMPACT fellow and a 2016 Development Leadership Consortium fellow. She previously served on Chicago Foundation for Women’s grant making committee, the Young Women’s Giving Council, and the foundation’s Civic Agenda Committee. She is a former member of the Chicago Women in Philanthropy and has lived and volunteered in Cape Town, SA. Dawn also received Chicago Crain’s prestigious 40 under 40 honor in 2018 and Chicago Scholars 35 under 35 in 2019.
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