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2019 Woman of the Year Award Recipient

Jennifer 'Sis' Killenkillen

Assistant Superintendent of Transportation
Cook County Department of Transportation and Highways 

Jennifer Killen, or “Sis” as she is widely known, joined Cook County in 2012 as the Chief Engineer of Project Development.  In 2013, Sis was promoted to serve as the Assistant Superintendent of Transportation and Highways for Cook County, the second most populous county in the nation. She is the first female to hold this position in the Department’s more than 100 year history. 
 
Sis’ role has evolved significantly during her 7 years at the County, and she has been instrumental in the transformation of the nearly 300 plus person Department from a road and bridge centric environment to a culture with a focus on a broader range of transportation projects which foster economic returns. She has led the completion the County’s first long range, multi-modal transportation plan, Connecting Cook County, which established policy priorities to serve as a blueprint for guiding investment and oversees the annual Invest In Cook grant program, bringing projects that would have otherwise languished back into action to serve our communities and businesses.  
 
Sis has been active in the industry having served on CMAP’s Transportation Committee for over 6 years, and chairwoman since 2016 to guide the development of the region’s ONTO 2050 plan, chair of the Innovations in Construction, Asphalt and Transportation Conference’s DBE Focus Board, and a strong advocate for female executive leadership in our industry, leading an executive management team that is 67% female. Sis is a member of the 2019 University of Chicago’s Civic Leadership Academy, an interdisciplinary leadership group which brings together the public sector and non-profits to build a better Chicago.
 
Prior to her work with the County, she spent 13 years in the private sector, with a focus on Preliminary and Design Engineering Studies.
Ms. Killen received a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is a licensed Professional Engineer and Professional Traffic Operations Engineer.
 
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