Don Laackman has served as an president of two colleges, as a non-profit executive helping Chicago maintain its status as a great global city, and as a partner and managing director at Accenture, the global consulting, technology and marketing firm.
Don served as president Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont, from 2014 – 2019, and Harold Washington College, one of the City Colleges of Chicago, from 2011 – 2014. Don moved from corporate consulting to non-profit consulting and then higher education, driven by a personal mission to help people compete in a changing global economy.
At Champlain, Don championed retention, graduation and student support initiatives that supported a 94 percent career success rate. Champlain provides leading programs in cybersecurity, gaming, business, and the creative arts. He instilled fiscal discipline while at Champlain, grew net assets by over 50 percent, stabilized their debt, and grew Champlain College Online by over 300 percent.
At City Colleges of Chicago from 2011-2014, Don led the improvement of Harold Washington’s graduation rate from four per cent to over seventeen percent. He participated in Chancellor Cheryl Hyman’s Reinvention initiative, which introduced College to Careers (C2C), an initiative to offer market-relevant academic preparation for City Colleges students. Harold Washington College served as the Business, Professional Services and Entrepreneurship hub for C2C.
Don previously served as a Principal at Civic Consulting Alliance (CCA), where he managed CCA’s Workforce and Education program areas. He led several workforce system change initiatives. This included the creation of a new workforce board overseeing $360 million in workforce funding in Chicago and a strategy for improving Career and Technical Education for 25,000 Chicago Public School high school students. He also led the creation of several advisory councils comprised of business, civic and community leaders to advise CCC on its Reinvention initiative.
Don served as a Managing Director at Accenture, one of the world’s leading consulting, technology, and outsourcing firms. Over a twenty-three year career, he led strategic, change, and information technology (IT) solution initiatives while providing client management, professional development, business unit management, profit and loss delivery, contract negotiations, and sales.
He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago and a Masters of Public Policy from the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago.