Madeleine Doubek – Executive Director

Madeleine Doubek in studio. | Rich Hein/Sun-Times

Madeleine Doubek is a passionate, long-time advocate for improving government and politics in Illinois. As the former vice president of policy at the Better Government Association, she was responsible for a new law that limits golden parachutes for public executives. She also worked to stop efforts to limit government transparency and championed laws that boost government efficiency.

Doubek writes a government-focused column for Crain’s Chicago Business. Prior to her direct advocacy and policy work, Doubek spent 32 years in journalism, many covering local and state government and politics. She has won several regional and national journalism awards during her career. Her work on Illinois’ historic budget impasse was honored by Voices for Illinois Children and with two Peter Lisagor Awards from the Chicago Headline Club.

Doubek previously served as publisher of Reboot Illinois, a citizen-focused website covering state politics and government. Before that, Doubek was the former Assistant Vice President/Executive Editor of the suburban Daily Herald. She served as the paper’s political writer, columnist and editor for many years. While there, she also led a team of reporters and editors who wrote an award-winning, 5-part series, “44 Minutes in January,” that told in unprecedented detail the story of the Palatine Brown’s Chicken murders. Her work on series examining homeland security spending, foster care, chronic drunken driving and burgeoning suburban hard-core drug use also was honored with regional and national awards.

Doubek graduated from Eastern Illinois University with a journalism major and political science minor. A native of Chicago’s South Side, she now lives in Des Plaines.

You can follow Madeleine on Twitter: @mdoubek. Any media inquiries for CHANGE Illinois can be sent to her at

Liliana Scales – Advocacy Director

Liliana Scales (she/her/hers) is the Advocacy Director at CHANGE Illinois. She leads coalition building, especially in support of independent redistricting, and represents the organization on the Just Democracy Illinois and Transform Illinois coalitions. She also is responsible for our Census outreach efforts.

Prior to coming to CHANGE Illinois, Lili was the Vice President of External Relations and Resource Development for Volunteers of America of Illinois, a human services nonprofit in Chicago serving veterans who are experiencing homelessness as well as children in foster care. Lili was responsible for leading all fundraising, media, marketing and advocacy efforts. In her spare time, she actively volunteered on congressional and city council campaigns. In addition, she has volunteered at: Horizons for Youth as a mentor, Mujeres Latinas en Accion as a young professional advisory committee member, and the Chicago Foundation for Women giving council.

Lili is a graduate of John Carroll University where she received her Master’s degree in Nonprofit Administration. She lives in Chicago with her husband, son, and two dogs.

You can follow her on Twitter: @lili_scales.

Ryan Tolley – Policy Director

Ryan Tolley is the Policy Director at CHANGE Illinois, where he leads policy development and lobbying efforts for good government reform on a state, city and county level. Ryan oversees the creation and execution of CHANGE’s policy agenda. 

Prior to working for CHANGE Illinois, Ryan directed grassroots initiatives and advocacy efforts for the Small Business Advocacy Council (SBAC), giving the small business community a voice on federal, state and local government levels. Ryan’s success at the SBAC in passing bipartisan legislation resulted in his appointment to the Leadership Council of the National Small Business Association. 

In his spare time, Ryan volunteers at Working Bikes, which restores and donates bikes that are distributed to communities locally, as well as worldwide. Ryan is a graduate of Northeastern Illinois University.

You can follow Ryan on Twitter: @rtolley_il.

Sarah Wasik – Project Coordinator

Sarah is the project coordinator with CHANGE Illinois. She assists with general organizational management, external communications, board relations and preparation, and special projects, like rallies and events.  

Before joining CHANGE Illinois, Sarah worked for Elizabeth Warren’s national advance team and as a field organizer for state Sen. Melinda Bush’s re-election campaign. She also has held policy- and outreach-focused internship positions with the offices of state Sen. Melinda Bush, U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider and state Comptroller Susana Mendoza.

In 2019, Sarah graduated with honors from University of Chicago, where she doublemajored in public policy analysis and philosophy. Her senior thesis research on the impact of special education funding mandates in Illinois helped inform a resolution passed by the Illinois Association of School Boards, which seeks to equalize state payments for special education services between public and private schools. 

In her free time, Sarah likes to run, read and spend time with friends.

You can follow Sarah on Twitter: @Sarah_wasik