Dean Fischer

Dean Fischer is the CEO of West Monroe Partners, which he co-founded in 2002. For nearly 40 years, Dean has been a professional services industry leader and entrepreneur, with a very diverse set of functional experience in finance, private equity, law, federal contracts, technology, systems, and business process re-engineering.

After serving for seven years on the Board of the Student Conservation Association (SCA), the last three as its Chairman, Dean is now a member of its National Council. Dean is also currently on the Board of Audubon Chicago Region.

“My philanthropic passion is conservation,” he says. “After my time with SCA, I wanted to do something more local. Openlands is arguably as important as any other conservation organization in this area of the country. In addition to my own knowledge of Openlands, Wendy Paulson encouraged me to get involved and to meet with Jerry Adelmann.

I’m very interested in TreeKeepers and excited about Birds in My Neighborhood. I think these programs go hand in hand in terms of habitat, creating future conservation leaders, getting kids addicted to nature and public land.

My interest in conservation began early. When I was a kid, I went around constantly all summer with a butterfly net and caught frogs, snakes, and butterflies. My grandmother taught me to fish. Fifty years ago she was practicing catch and release in northern Minnesota long before it became a thing that was widely known. She was very influential. And I’ve passed that along to my children. My wife and I do a lot of camping, and I began taking my oldest child out camping when he was still in diapers. In fact, my middle son is now a wildlife biologist in California.

Here in the Chicago region, I’m a big fan of the Cook County Forest Preserves, the Morton Arboretum, and the Prairie Path and the Great Western Trail. In downtown Chicago, we have great open space. I’m a regular on morning bird walks at Northerly Island or the Bird Sanctuary. There is no better way to start my morning than out there at 7am before the hustle and bustle of the day, reminding me of what’s important.”


  • B.S.B.A.(Accounting and Finance), Valparaiso University

Civic and non-profit affiliations

  • Chicago Audubon Society Board Member
  • Student Conservation Association – Member of the National Council

Favorite activities and areas of expertise

Dean enjoys business investments, biking, golf, coaching youth basketball, and attending cultural events.