Patrick Hughes to Become CDC Chairman of the Board

The Chicago Debate Commission is pleased to announce that Patrick D. Hughes will assume the role of chairman of the Board of Directors as of July 1, 2011.

Mr. Hughes is currently the Illinois Special Deputy Receiver, administering receiverships of Illinois insurance companies, and is Chief Executive Officer of the not-for–profit Office of the Special Deputy.  Prior to his current position, he served five years with the State of Illinois in various senior positions focusing on regulatory policy, law and practice. He had been a practicing attorney in both corporate transactions at Mayer Brown, and commercial litigation at Kirkland & Ellis and Winston & Strawn, before those government assignments.

Mr. Hughes has served on the CDC Board of Directors since its reorganization in March 2008, after the passing of its founding chair, Justice Seymour Simon, in October 2006.  Mr. Hughes graduated with honors from DePaul University College of Law and received his undergraduate degree from Georgetown University. He debated for Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Illinois.

Hughes’ enthusiasm for education and connection to debate have stayed with him over the years. He comments, “Like so many others, debate changed my life when I debated in high school.  The Chicago Debate Commission is to me an ideal vehicle to make the Chicago area a better place: by educating more urban public school students through this very powerful instrument and thereby giving them a better chance to go to and graduate from college and have a rewarding career.  My overriding goal as the new leader of the CDC Board will be to deepen the involvement and investment of the private sector so as to help make possible the Chicago Debate League’s next level of success.”

The current chairman of the Board of Directors, Mr. Richard W. Sullivan, will continue to be an active member of the board. Mr. Sullivan’s departure comes on the heels of unprecedented growth in Chicago Debate League programming and a significant expansion in private support for the Chicago Debate Commission over the past three years. Since 2008, the Chicago Debate League is two-thirds larger in terms of schools served, with parallel increases in student participation and coach development.

Mr. Sullivan’s tenure also saw the addition of several major corporate partners, including Allstate, Performance Trust Capital Partners, and a number of area law firms, including Mayer Brown LLP, McDermott Will and Emery LLP, and Baker and McKenzie LLP, among others.

Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Hughes are currently working with the CDC Board and Staff on the next generation of CDC strategies that, implemented in partnership with CPS, will drive even more increases in students served, educational impact, and public support.  Under Mr. Hughes’ chairmanship, the Chicago Debate Commission will continue to seek the involvement of more community supporters and more value for the CDL.  Please welcome Mr. Patrick Hughes as he leads the Chicago Debate Commission toward another quantum increase in opportunities for participation and educational development for the students of the Chicago Public Schools.