Who We Are

Phyllis Glink

Executive Director

First Year with IHF


Focus Areas

Early Care and Development, Child and Family Policy, Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health and Trauma, Systems Development, Public-Private Partnerships


M.P.P., University of Chicago
B.A. in English, University of Michigan

Phyllis Glink (she/her/hers) is the Executive Director of the Irving Harris Foundation. In her over two decades with the Foundation she has led, developed and implemented its grantmaking and field leadership work in the areas of early childhood development and child and family welfare, reproductive health and justice, Jewish values, and social justice. Phyllis works closely with the Foundation’s partners in the non-profit, advocacy, philanthropy, and government communities to leverage shared investment and maximize the impact of Foundation grants in Illinois and across the country. She leads the Foundation’s partnerships with national replication and public policy efforts such as BUILD, the Early Learning Challenge Collaborative, First Five Years Fund, the Alliance for Early Success, the Educare Learning Network, Health Connect One’s replication of the Community Based Doula model and the Harris Foundation’s Early Childhood Professional Development Network, a group of 18 infant mental health and child trauma institutions across the United States and Israel. Phyllis holds many leadership roles in the public and philanthropic sectors including serving as co-chair of the Governor’s Early Learning Council, the Illinois Commission on Equitable Funding for Early Childhood Education and Care, the Advisory Board of the National Center of Excellence in Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation, the Membership Committee for the Early Childhood Funders’ Collaborative, and co-chairs BUILD’s Advisory Board.

Past leadership includes serving on the State of Illinois Department of Human Services’ Child Care Advisory Council for twenty years including twice chairing strategic planning task forces for the Department; Health Connect One’s National Doula Leadership Institute; and the Chicago Children’s Museum’s Early Childhood Advisory Board. She was a co-Founder and developer of the BUILD Initiative, First Five Years Fund, the Alliance for Early Success, and Illinois’ Barbara Bowman Leadership Fellowship. Ms. Glink served on the 2008 Health and Human Services Transition team for the Obama Administration. She has also served on the Health transition team for the Rauner administration, the Pritzker Education Transition team, and the Lightfoot Education transition team.

Ms. Glink has spoken at national and local conferences such as Grantmakers for Children, Youth and Families, Grantmakers for Education, Grantmakers in Health, Clinton Global Initiative, the Center for Family Philanthropy, Zero to Three, The Aspen Institute Ideas Festival, ASCEND at the Aspen Institute, the University of Chicago, and Voices for Illinois Children. She has published multiple articles in Zero to Three’s Journal on the Foundation’s strategic approach to investing in infant mental health and child trauma, the Community Doula Project and leadership development. She has received the Humanitarian Award from UNICEF, the Spirit of Leadership Award from Health Connect One, and the Spirit of Choice Award from Personal Pac and, under her leadership, the Foundation has been honored by numerous organizations.

Prior to joining the Irving Harris Foundation, Ms. Glink worked for the Chicago Community Trust focusing on grant making and program development in the areas of education and women and girls’ issues. Ms. Glink started her career in philanthropy at the University of Chicago where she worked for seven years in the Central Development Office as a major gifts officer raising funds for the successful $650 million capital campaign.

Ms. Glink earned her Master’s in Public Policy from The University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and her B.A. from the University of Michigan.