Co-Chairs and Executive Director

Jess Goode
Co-Chair; Chief of Staff and Vice President, Strategy, Illinois Institute of Technology

Jess Goode serves as Illinois Institute of Technology’s chief of staff and vice president for strategy and external affairs, where he works to align president’s office operations in support students, faculty and staff and where he leads the university’s strategy, government relations and community affairs offices.  Goode has more than 20 years of experience in strategic communications, marketing, and government. He has led successful communications campaigns at the federal and state levels and has been a senior government official in a congressional office and in state government. In 1996 Goode began his career as a press secretary in a top-targeted congressional race and continued as a press secretary on Capitol Hill until 2001. He later became district director for Congressman Ted Strickland and was responsible for representing Strickland in Ohio and for managing four congressional district offices. In 2005 he became the communications director for Strickland’s run for Ohio governor and next served as communications director for Governor Strickland, overseeing the governor’s press staff as well as communications and marketing for 23 state agencies and departments. Goode has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the E. W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, and a master’s degree and Ph.D. in political science from Ohio State University

Sarah Sheehan
Co-Chair; Executive Director of Government Relations, Office of Civic Engagement, University of Chicago

Sarah Sheehan serves as the Executive Director of Government Relations in the Office of Civic Engagement at The University of Chicago. Sarah joined UChicago in 2013 and is responsible for strategic engagement with the University’s civic partners.  As liaison to the City of Chicago, Sarah works across campus to ensure a cohesive and effective approach to city and community engagement on campus planning and development projects. Prior to joining UChicago, Sarah worked for the City of Chicago, serving as coordinator of the Mayor’s University Taskforce and staff to the Chicago Plan Commission. Prior to 2007, Sarah worked for a number of nonprofit institutes at DePaul University including the Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development and the Government Assistance Program. Sarah holds Bachelors of Arts in Public Policy and Geography from DePaul University and a Masters of Urban Planning and Policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

David Baker
Executive Director, America's Urban Campus

David Baker oversees the operations of the consortium of Chicago's universities and colleges, representing 96% of all college students in the City. Before beginning his tenure at AUC, he served as Vice President for External Affairs, Illinois Institute of Technology from 1995 to 2016, where he focused on governmental relations, marketing and communications, and trustee relations. At Illinois Tech, he served as the founding Executive Director of the University Technology Park from 2006 to 2016. Prior to joining the University, Baker served as President of the Illinois Coalition, whose mission is to strengthen the Illinois economy through science and technology. From 1980 to 1989 Baker served as the Executive Vice President of the Illinois State Chamber of Commerce, the state’s largest business advocacy organization. Baker served as the 2012-2013 President of the Association of University Research Parks. Baker holds an M.A. from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and an A.B. in History with a minor in Economics from Stanford University. He is married, has two children and lives in Chicago.