DAMEN AWARD - COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES
Ricardo Estrada (BS ’89) is president and CEO of Metropolitan Family Services, one of Chicago’s first and most well-respected human services agencies. Since his arrival in March 2011, the agency has seen an expansion of 25,000 clients, now empowering over 68,000 people in Chicago, Suburban Cook County, and DuPage County.
This noteworthy expansion came in part from acquisitions of programs formerly managed by Jane Addams Hull House and efforts spearheaded by Estrada to secure funding to establish an early childhood facility on Chicago’s Southwest Side, the state’s area of highest need for such facilities. In 2015, he also led the launch of the Campaign to MPower Families, a bold $25 million initiative to reach more families and strengthen Metropolitan Family Services' communities with better services and an even stronger organization.
Estrada claims over two decades of leadership experience in human services. Prior to joining Metropolitan Family Services, Estrada served as first deputy commissioner of the City of Chicago’s Department of Family and Support Services. He also served as executive director of Erie Neighborhood House in Chicago, where he founded the Erie Elementary Charter School.
In 2006, Loyola University Chicago selected Estrada as its Latino Alumnus of the Year. His other awards include being named an American Marshall Memorial Fellow, as well as receiving the City Club of Chicago John A. McDermott Award for Distinguished Social Leadership, the University of Illinois at Chicago City Partner Award, and the University of Chicago’s Inaugural 2014 Social Impact Alumni Award. In 2013, he was named Leadership Greater Chicago’s “Distinguished Fellow” and “Person of the Year” by the Corporate Responsibility Group of Chicago. In 2012, he was honored by the Chicago Bears with an NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award.
He currently serves on the board of trustees of the University of Illinois, the board of directors of Leadership Greater Chicago, the board of directors of The Woods Fund of Chicago, and the board of directors of the Cook County Hospital and Health System.
Estrada received an MBA from the University of Illinois at Chicago, an MA in social service policy and administration from the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration, and a BS in psychology from Loyola University Chicago.