Carol Adams, PhD

Chief Community Relations Officer

Carol Adams, PhD is the former Secretary of the State of Illinois Department of Human Services. She managed the largest agency in Illinois state government with 14,000 employees and a budget of $6 billion. She also is the past President and CEO of the DuSable Museum of Africa American History, the oldest and longest-running Museum of African American history in the United States. Her extensive connections, relationship with communities throughout Illinois, and expertise bring instant credibility and opportunities for SIMPCO.


Dr. Carol L. Adams is President of Urban Prescriptives, Inc., a consulting firm that specializes in program and organizational development for educational, social, cultural and philanthropic institutions.  This venture merges the diverse experiences that comprise her remarkable career as an applied sociologist, social activist, and change agent.


Adams has astutely moved from theory to action in several key positions, implementing evidence-based practice and informing practice-based evidence in everyone.  Among them: President and CEO of the DuSable Museum of African American History; Secretary of the Department of Human Services for the state of Illinois; Director of Executive Director of the House of Blues Foundation; Director of Resident Services and Programs for the Chicago Housing Authority; Director of Northeastern Illinois University’s Center for Inner City Studies; and Director of African American Studies at Loyola University.


Urban Prescriptives focuses on organizational development in these critical areas: Ideation, Civic Engagement, Social Marketing, Corporate Social Responsibility, Evaluation, and Strategic Planning.  Collective Impact and Synergistic Planning models are the primary means through which organizations are advanced to increased innovation and effectiveness.  Clients include major universities, museums, governmental agencies, and non-profits.


Adams’ branding campaigns are ubiquitous and include: “Du Something” for the DuSable Museum; “Bring It On Home” for the University of Chicago Obama Library campaign; “I’ve Got Next” for Next Level Health; “Don’t Shoot, I Wanna Grow Up” for Ceasefire; and “Be The Change” for the Chicago Police Department.


Known for her development acumen, Dr. Adams has raised over $400 million for a variety of agencies and institutions, both public and private.  She is a thought leader frequently asked to serve as an advisor on public policy and civic engagement by legislators, corporate leaders, and governmental entities throughout the world.  Closer to home, she is the founder of the South Shore Works, a movement dedicated to transformational community economic development in her beloved South Shore neighborhood.


Dr. Adams serves on the Board of Directors of the eta Creative Arts Foundation, After School Matters, and the city of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events., among others. Her memberships include the Conference of Minority Public Administrators, Quadrangle Club, the Association of African American Museums, The Chicago Network, Choose Chicago, The Economic Club, the UIC African American Leadership Council, and the American Alliance of Museums.




Among her many awards and honors are the Illinois Arts Council Governor’s Award in the Arts, the Outstanding Humanitarian Award from the NAACP, the YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago Leadership in Education Award, Illinois Board of Higher Education Community Service Award and the Tradition Keepers Award from The Chicago Association of Black Storytellers. She’s also been named to Ebony Magazine’s “Power 100 List,” Today’s Chicago Woman’s 100 Women of Influence and Crain’s “Who’s Who in Chicago” List.