Ryan Tolley takes the helm at CHANGE Illinois & CHANGE Illinois Action Fund

Jan. 16, 2024
For Immediate Release

For all inquiries, please contact: 

Ryan Tolley
Executive Director
(336) 503-2301

Kathy Ryg
CHANGE Illinois Board Secretary
(847) 707-4728

CHICAGO, IL – CHANGE Illinois and CHANGE Illinois Action Fund board members are thrilled to announce that long-time Policy Director Ryan Tolley will serve as the organizations’ new executive director. 

Ryan has been a pivotal leader for nearly five years in shaping the organizations’ work statewide and has demonstrated a steadfast commitment to our nonpartisan mission. Board members are confident he is the right person to continue our work empowering Illinoisans in championing equitable democracy and voting rights, fair maps and ethics and efficiency in government and elections in Illinois. 

Ryan brings a balance of pragmatism and idealism to the role as he works with staff to listen to the people of Illinois and pushes for a democracy that is more equitable and responsive to the needs of everyday people.

“Our boards of directors resoundingly affirm and support Ryan’s bold vision to take our statewide coalition to even greater heights,” said CHANGE Illinois Board Co-Chair Deborah Harrington. 

Ryan was instrumental in working to abolish the practice of prison gerrymandering in Illinois. He was a lead advocate for people in communities across the state to have a voice during the 2021 redistricting cycle. He promoted several specific good government reforms to the Illinois General Assembly’s Joint Commission on Ethics and Lobbying Reforms in 2019, and has advocated for improved ethics and transparency in the Chicago City Council. 

“Our board members and staff spent significant time over the past year building a long-term strategic plan, and we are confident in Ryan’s ability to execute on that plan and grow our organization in the years to come,” said CHANGE Illinois Action Fund Secretary & Treasurer Bethany Jaeger. 

Ryan takes the helm from Madeleine Doubek, who announced her plans to semi-retire at the end of last year. She will remain with the organization as a strategic advisor. 


CHANGE Illinois is a 501(c)(3) nonpartisan, nonprofit that conducts research, educates and advocates for ethical, efficient government and elections. The CHANGE Illinois Action Fund is an affiliated 501(c)(4) nonpartisan nonprofit.