Jennifer Van Valkenburg

Vice President of Development Jen oversees the fundraising program at Openlands, stewarding the valued relationships with individuals and organizations who together invest in Openlands’ efforts to preserve the natural open spaces of Illinois. Prior to joining Openlands, Jen served as the Vice President for Institutional Advancement at the Chicago Architecture Foundation. She also served as Senior Director of Individual Giving, Director of Special Campaigns and Assistant Director of Corporate Relations at the John G. Shedd Aquarium. Working for Openlands combines her passions for conservation and the quality of green space in an urban setting.

Jen works to raise funds to achieve Openlands’ vision for the region: a landscape that includes a vast network of land and water trails, tree-lined streets, and intimate public gardens within easy reach of every city dweller.  She and her family live in Ukrainian Village. She is a former member of the Smith Park Advisory Council and a supporter of the Garfield Park Conservatory.


  • BA Political Science & German, Illinois State University
  • Master of Public Administration, University of South Alabama

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