Managing Director, 4S Bay Partners LLC
Dr. Towns is a scholar, activist, and practitioner, dedicated to helping solve civic and urban issues at the structural level. He is the Managing Director at 4S Bay Partners, LLC’s Chi-Town Impact, a $20 million private equity fund that looks to make investments in women and minority operating businesses within Opportunity Zones and a Professor of Social Impact at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Prior to Chi-Town Impact Dr. Towns was the founding Executive Director of Benefit Chicago, one of the first place based impact investment collaborations in the country, bringing together The Chicago Community Trust, The MacArthur Foundation and Calvert Impact Capital to mobilize $100 million in impact investments targeting the social enterprise sector in the Chicago region. He help launched The Community Desk a partnership between the Boston Consulting Group, JP Morgan Chase Foundation and the Chicago Community Trust which looks to support, empower, and connect local community development groups with the data and insight to attached investment capital.
Dr. Towns has served as one of the architects of the University of Chicago's model of civic engagement, as a part of this work he, lead the office of Civic Engagements first anchor strategic plan. This plan looked to encourage and support businesses hiring locally, deepening the engagement with the arts and cultural institutions, supporting research that advances the understanding of evidence-based interventions at a systemic level and advancing campus developments that contribute to the sustainability of a shared community.
He received his BA from Loyola University Chicago, an MBA from the University of Notre Dame, and a Ph.D. from Benedictine University. He believes his mission is to use research to help cities, corporations, and nonprofits to develop policies and initiatives that welcome those who stand just outside the door of opportunity to the table of prosperity