Openlands Director of Policy Chris Kessler

Chris Kessler is the Director of Policy at Openlands. Chris cultivates relationships with elected officials and agency leaders at all levels of government for Openlands staff, as well as provides the expertise necessary to carry out legislative and grassroots advocacy strategies that advance the mission of the organization. In addition to acting as a legislative liaison, Chris manages specific policy initiatives and responds to requests for assistance with policy issues that are in line with the organization’s agenda. Prior to joining Openlands, Chris served as a legislative and communications staffer for the Illinois House Speaker for nearly a decade. It is here that he worked closely with state legislators as a Senior Legislative Coordinator to build and advance their policy agendas and connect with diverse constituencies across the state. He also developed and managed the Illinois House Democratic Caucus’ first-ever digital outreach program as their Digital Director. Chris has also worked as a political consultant on numerous successful statehouse campaigns where he was responsible for campaign management, message development, grassroots organizing, and more. Chris holds a Bachelor of the Arts in Political Science and a Minor in Global Labor Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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