Gretchen Crosby Sims is a Chicago-based executive with Hakluyt, a global strategic advisory firm. She joined the firm in 2021 to launch its Chicago office and co-lead its business in the Midwest, and advises corporate and private equity clients across the region on the most important opportunities and risks facing their businesses. She also leads the firm’s Senior Hires practice in North America.
Prior to Hakluyt, Gretchen held a variety of executive and strategy roles in the policy, politics, philanthropy, nonprofit, academic, and impact investing sectors. Immediately before Hakluyt, she served as the executive director of the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics, founded by IOP Director David Axelrod to develop the next generation of leaders in American politics and public service. From 2015 to 2017, she was a director at London-based impact investing intermediary Social Finance UK, where she led policy efforts and the firm’s education practice. Until 2014, Gretchen was the chief program executive at The Joyce Foundation, a private foundation in Chicago with assets of over $1 billion and $50 million in annual grants.
Gretchen has also worked at the Council on Foreign Relations, CNN, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and as a policy adviser to presidential candidate Bill Bradley. She holds Ph.D. and Master of Arts degrees in political science from Stanford University and a Bachelor of Arts in government from Harvard University.