NASCA State Member Spotlight - Janel Forde, Illinois

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Just shy of two years ago, Janel Forde was appointed to the Illinois Department of Central Management Services (CMS) as the Director by Governor Pritzker. She oversees the nearly $7 billion annual budget for the State's administrative services, including human resources, benefits for employees and retirees, facilities management, diversity leadership for public contracting and state hiring, procurement, fleet management, and many others.

Prior to her appointment, she served as the Chief Operating Officer for the City of Chicago, Director for the Office of the CEO for Chicago Public Schools, Chief Operating Officer at the Illinois State Board of Education, and several other public positions. She has also excelled in the private sector as a consultant for the Boston Consulting Group and at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants. Additionally, she worked in the marketing and business development division of American Express.

Since January 2019, Janel has been active in NASCA, attending her first in-person event in the spring of 2019, a few months after her appointment. Janel has been an enormous advocate for furthering NASCA's mission, to help state chief administrators and their teams strategically transform state government operations through the power of shared knowledge and thought leadership. Whether that be through speaking at NASCA events or on behalf of NASCA at other events, offering her staff as leaders for our topical forums, or serving on various committees, including NASCA's Executive Committee. Recently NASCA was honored to award her with our most prestigious award, The National Walton Leadership Award.

In her spare time, Janel is crafting, sewing, and baking. Ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, she sent boxes of baked homemade cookies and treats as a way to thank essential staff within the Department. Employees in the CMS Bureau of Agency Services and the Illinois Office of Communication and Information (IOCI) have been working on site since the onset of the COVID-19 response to ensure critical functions of the state like vehicle maintenance, mail and messenger services, and communications remained up and running.  Janel is always energetic and fun-loving. Recently while on a board call with NASCA, Janel's background featured a Unicorn balloon given to her by her nieces for her birthday that featured her favorite colors, pink, gold, and of course, glitter!