Bruce Rauner served as the 42nd Governor of the State of Illinois from 2015-2019, striving to reform the state's culture of deficit spending and corruption. Governor Rauner achieved equal funding for charter schools, created an historic tuition scholarship tax credit program, negotiated an 1115 Medicaid waiver making the state a national leader in mental health services, reformed the criminal justice system reducing recidivism rates by 22%, formed the Competitiveness Council to eliminate burdensome regulations, and created the state's first Department of Information Technology, making Illinois a national leader in streamlining and digitizing government services. At the outset of his term, Governor Rauner sued AFCSME in a case decided by the U.S Supreme Court in 2018, eliminating the forced collection of union dues in the public sector and enabling state and local governments and public schools in the U.S. to become Right-to-Work.
Prior to his public service, Bruce was Chairman of private equity and venture capital firm GTCR, where he and his partners helped form and finance the growth of over 200 companies in diverse industries including business services, technology, and healthcare. Prior to joining GTCR in 1981, Bruce worked in strategic consulting with Bain and Company and in economic analysis with Data Resources, Inc.
Bruce has served on the boards of numerous civic and philanthropic organizations including New Schools for Chicago, The Noble Network of Charter Schools, Chicago Communities in Schools, Ravinia Festival, the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, and World Business Chicago. He was Chairman of the Chicago Pubic Education Fund and ACT Charter School, Chairman of the Education Committee of the Civic Committee of The Commercial Club of Chicago, and Chairman of the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau, where he led the successful transformation of tourism marketing for the city. Bruce received the Daley Medal from the Illinois Venture Capital Association for extraordinary support to the lllinois economy.
Bruce has been the key development sponsor for projects including Chicago's new Red Cross regional headquarters, the YMCA in the Little Village neighborhood, numerous university facilities and professorships, six new charter high schools on Chicago's west side, an AUSL turnaround campus, scholarship programs for disadvantaged lllinois public school students, and achievement-based compensation systems for teachers and principals in Chicago Public Schools.
Bruce serves on the boards of the Environmental Defense Fund and the National Parks Conservation Association, works with the Nature Conservancy and Montana Land Reliance to preserve ranch land and wildlife habitat in Montana, served on the board of the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, and received the Murie-Broome Award from The Wilderness Society for outstanding work in wilderness preservation.
Bruce's wife, Dr. Diana Mendley Rauner, is President of the Ounce of Prevention Fund, an education, research and advocacy public-private partnership which operates innovative early education programs nationwide. A Chicago native, Bruce received a B.A. degree in economics, summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from Dartmouth College and an M.B.A. from Harvard University. He is an avid fly fisher, bird hunter, backpacker, skier, golfer, and motorcycle and horseback rider. Bruce and Diana have six children and one grandchild