City Club of Chicago: Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx
March 15, 2017
Hon. Kimberly Foxx – State’s Attorney – Cook County
Kim Foxx was sworn in as Cook County State’s Attorney on December 1, 2016, becoming the first African-American woman to serve in that role. As State’s Attorney, Foxx has promised to improve public safety, increase transparency, and restore public faith in a criminal justice system that has failed so many families.
Previously, Foxx served as Chief of Staff to Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. As an advisor and lead strategist to the president of the nation’s second largest county, she oversaw a $4 billion annual budget and counseled Preckwinkle on issues ranging from finances to public safety and juvenile detention. In the Preckwinkle Administration, Foxx was the lead architect of the criminal justice reform agenda–addressing racial disparities in the criminal and juvenile justice systems. Those efforts resulted in a significant drop in the Cook County jail population while maintaining public safety.
Prior to answering President Preckwinkle’s call, Foxx served as an Assistant State’s Attorney for Cook County for 12 years. As a front-line prosecutor and supervisor, she managed a prosecution docket of more than 5,000 criminal cases. She conducted and supervised jury trials in felony trial and juvenile courts, including everything from first-degree murder to criminal sexual assault and vehicular hijacking cases. Before joining the State’s Attorney’s Office, Foxx was a Guardian ad Litem at the Cook County Public Guardian’s Office, where she managed a caseload of more than 150 children navigating the justice system, many of whom had been abused, neglected, or had special needs.
Foxx’s contributions to the community also include her tenure as Board President of Free Spirit Media, a nonprofit that partners with schools and organizations to provide education, access, and opportunity in media production to underserved urban youth. Foxx has also served as the Board Chair of Planned Parenthood of Illinois and is a former President of the National Black Prosecutors Association Chicago chapter.
Born to a teenage mother who struggled to make ends meet, and raised on Chicago’s Near North Side by her mother and grandmother, Foxx’s life experiences have given her a deep understanding of the impact that crime, violence, and poverty have on our communities. Growing up in the Cabrini Green public housing complex and attending Lincoln Park High School, Foxx often felt the weight of her poverty in relation to other kids. Pushing herself to take honors classes—even when she was living at a homeless shelter with her mother—Foxx never gave up. Through perseverance and hard work, she excelled in school and earned both her BA and JD from Southern Illinois University.
Foxx lives with her husband of 15 years, Kelley, and their two elementary-aged daughters, Kendall and Kai.