FacultyFaculty/Author Profile
Jamal M. Edwards

Jamal M. Edwards


Chicago, IL, USA

A former President and CEO of Howard Brown Health Center, Jamal M. Edwards brings a wealth of business and legal insight to one of the nation's and Midwest's largest healthcare and research organizations, primarily serving the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, questioning community and its allies (LGBTQA) and persons affected by HIV/AIDS. 

Edwards accepted the CEO position at Howard Brown Health Center (HBHC) at a time when the organization faced a financial crisis after a federal investigation revealed mismanagement of millions of dollars in grant funds by past leadership.  

After his first year, HBHC regained the trust of its major stakeholders, overcame five (5) years of record deficits, and was out of the red (FY2011 results yielded a surplus of over $1M). And the positive performance continues as HBHC is restructuring to focus on its core competencies, navigates changes in healthcare, and is expanding its clinical and research services to meet growing demand. 

Under Edwards' leadership, HBHC is served more people than ever and its budget has grown from $16M and is forecasted to exceed $22M at the conclusion of FY2013. HBHC now serves nearly 40,000 people through several operating entities, including its Triad Health Practice (a collaborative primary care health practice with and on the campus of Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center), the Broadway Youth Center (serving nearly 5,000 homeless and at-risk youth), and Lesbian Community Care Project (women's health and cancer prevention/treatment program).  As CEO, Edwards is also responsible for the Brown Elephant Resale Shops (a multi-site thrift store and social enterprise based in Chicago and Oak Park), with gross revenue of $4M and more than 100,000 customers, annually.

His leadership has received significant local and national acclaim, including from Crain's Chicago Business who named Jamal to its coveted "40 under 40" list for 2011. Mr. Edwards' work at HBHC was also featured on the cover page of the Chicago Tribune's Red Eye Magazine on January 25, 2012, where he was dubbed "Dr. Do Good" and "The Fixer." 

Mr. Edwards also serves on a number of prestigious boards, including serving as Treasurer of the Board of Managers for the Alliance of Chicago Community Health Centers, L3C, a Trustee of the Ravenswood Healthcare Foundation, Chairman of the Alliance for Community Research, Engagement and Support, on the Board of Directors of the Illinois Primary Health Care Association and the Social Enterprise Alliance-Chicago Chapter, and on the External Advisory Committee for Northwestern University's Community Engaged Research Center.
Edwards is a licensed attorney and was a partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP (one of the nation's largest and most prestigious law firms) where he also served as pro bono general counsel to HBHC, prior to becoming its CEO. Edwards is a proud alumnus of Morehouse College, and received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Michigan Law School. Outside of his professional career, Mr. Edwards is just as committed. He is an active philanthropist, plays piano and is civically and politically active. Above all, he is a very proud parent of his 3-year old adopted son.

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