As PTS CEO, Terry provides inspired leadership for all aspects of the company’s operations with an emphasis on long-term goals, growth, profit, and return on investment. Terry develops and implements operational policies and strategic planning, while maintaining awareness of the external and internal competitive landscape, opportunities for expansion, new industry developments and standards. Terry also establishes the company’s culture and overall vision.
Terry Peterson most recently served as vice president, corporate and external affairs for Rush University Medical Center, the core division of the $2.6 billion Rush University System for Health. As Rush’s vice president and its registered lobbyist, Terry led the organization’s external relations with city, state, and federal legislative and public policy officials. Likewise, Terry represented Rush in its effort to both build and sustain corporate and external relationships and to garner capital investments for the Medical Center. During Terry’s 14-plus years at Rush, he secured over $200 million in public funding to build a new outpatient facility and to support Americans with Disability Act capital projects and programs. Terry also created new partnerships and strategic alliances with local Chicagoland corporate and educational institutions and led Rush’s systemwide Diversity Leadership Council.
From June 2009 to May 2020, Terry served as chair of the board of directors for the $1.5 billion Chicago Transit Authority. He was appointed to the chairman’s role by Chicago’s 54th mayor, Richard M. Daley, and subsequently retained for the chairman’s job by Chicago’s 55th and 56th mayors, Rahm Emanuel and Lori Lightfoot, respectively. Terry oversaw more than $8 billion in capital investments; overhauled over 80% of CTA’s rail and bus fleet; and championed the Second Chance program, an innovative initiative designed to provide job training and employment to ex-offenders. To date, Terry is the longest-tenured board chairman in CTA history.
Prior to his roles at Rush and the CTA, Terry led the $976 million Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) as the organization’s chief executive officer. As described in the media, Terry was responsible for leading “one of the United States’ largest public housing transformation projects.” And he did just that. Terry not only advanced the CHA’s $1.5 billion housing mandate through his leadership to create over 20,000 housing units, but he also built relationships with local and federal leaders at the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development to maximize the housing and residential services of the CHA.
In the government and civic affairs realm, Terry served as chief of staff for the 17th Ward of the City of Chicago, assistant commissioner of the City of Chicago Neighborhood Service Division, executive assistant to Mayor Richard M. Daley, and as alderman of Chicago’s 17th ward. In these public service roles, Terry improved the quality of life for Chicago residents by burgeoning economic revitalization and facilitating over $200 million in retail, housing, and infrastructure improvements. Terry even served as campaign manager for Mayor Richard M. Daley’s bid for re-election in 2007, which Mayor Daley won.
Terry earned a bachelor’s degree from Chicago State University and a master’s degree from Roosevelt University. Additionally, Terry completed Executive Education programs in real estate at Harvard University.