Diana Mendley Rauner, Ph. D., learned early from her parents the importance of giving back. As a young adult, Diana spent time volunteering at a settlement house in New York to help teach ex-offenders to read. After witnessing the education inequities in our country first-hand, she realized this was an issue she wanted to focus on long term. Today, Diana serves as President of the Ounce of Prevention Fund and First Lady of Illinois. The Ounce is a public-private partnership that advocates for and provides the highest-quality care and education for children from birth to age five. The Ounce believes in starting early to unlock the power of human potential, advancing program and policy efforts interactively to foster systemic change. With an operating budget of approximately $74 million, the Ounce creates and supports research-based early learning programs for at-risk children and their families; develops, educates, and coaches practitioners to provide more children with high-quality early education; and advocates and educates policymakers, business and civic leaders. Diana was appointed president in January 2011, having previously served as a board member and later as the organization’s executive director. Her leadership of the Ounce is informed by her prior experiences in finance and early childhood research. Diana holds a Ph.D. in developmental psychology from the University of Chicago, an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and a B.A. from Yale University.
See our complete list: Chicago’s 25 Most Powerful Women 2018