Lisa Madigan [Bio] – Women Driving Excellence 2016 Honoree

Lisa Madigan’s public service record is one of many “firsts.” The first woman elected to serve as Attorney General of Illinois, Madigan is now the senior most female Attorney General in the country. She is also the first Illinois Attorney General to argue a case before the U.S. Supreme Court in nearly three decades.

Since taking office in 2003, Attorney General Madigan has established herself as a national leader through her aggressive actions to protect consumers, safeguard children and seniors, advocate for working men and women, ensure access to affordable, quality healthcare, and fight for open, honest government.

Madigan consistently brings back hundreds of millions of dollars to Illinois taxpayers each year. Since 2003, she has recouped more than $10 billion in funds for the state.

Among the many awards and honors received for her principled service to the people of Illinois, Madigan has been given the Better Business Bureau’s Torchbearer Award, the Neighborhood Housing Services’ Community Advocate Award, the Anti-Defamation League’s Bernard Nath Award, the John F. Kennedy New Frontier Award, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)’s Consumer Champion Award and the Leon Despres Award for Independent Leadership from the Independent Voters of IllinoisIndependent Precinct Organization (IVI-IPO).

In addition, she served as a lead Attorney General in the $25 billion National Foreclosure investigation and settlement. Her efforts have resulted in $2.8 billion in relief to Illinois homeowners, communities and pension systems so far. As part of the Department of Justice Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities working group, she is recovering investment losses to Illinois’ pension system from the financial crisis. As the state’s legal officer, Attorney General Madigan has removed more than $26 million in unauthorized charges from more than 35,000 victims’ credit through her Identify Theft unit; leads the Illinois Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, which has been involved in the arrests of more than 791 individuals for crimes against children; and launched a statewide initiative to remove criminals from nursing homes. She has repeatedly stood up to utility companies that unjustly overbilled customers and engaged in unfair business practices; championed lifetime supervision for sexual predators and pushed for sunshine laws that have increased people’s access to all levels of government, including a hard-fought effort to amend and strengthen the state’s Freedom of Information Act. Inspired by the belief that one person can make a difference, a lesson she learned from the late U.S. Senator Paul Simon, Madigan has spent most of her career in public service. Before seeking her law degree, she taught high school algebra and English to Zulu girls in Apartheid-era South Africa. When Madigan returned to Chicago, she helped develop an innovative after-school and weekend program to keep kids away from gangs and drugs in the Austin and Logan Square communities of Chicago. Madigan practiced at a law firm until her election to the Illinois State Senate in 1998. Convinced that she could do more for the people of Illinois as the state’s chief legal advocate, she ran for Attorney General in 2002. Attorney General Madigan was overwhelmingly re-elected in 2006 and 2010.

You can also find Ms. Madigan on Twitter.

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