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Richard J. Winkel

Photo of Rick WinkelJ.D., DePaul University College of Law

B.A. Economics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Former senator Richard J. Winkel, Jr. is the director of Office of Public Leadership at the University of Illinois’ Institute of Government and Public Affairs. Winkel manages, designs and develops executive leadership programs for more than 400 experienced and newly elected state and local public officials each year. In addition, he has assisted with the design and moderated IGPA’s part of the conference for newly elected members of the Illinois General Assembly following general elections.

Winkel is responsible for managing, designing, recruiting presenters and developing the Edgar Fellows Program. Each year beginning in 2012, 40 emerging leaders from communities throughout Illinois became Edgar Fellows through a nomination and selection process. IGPA’s Edgar Fellows program enhances executive leadership skills and promote understanding, networking and cooperation across regional, partisan and ethnic lines as the Fellows move ahead in their public-service careers.

Winkel assists and promotes IGPA’s Fiscal Futures Project (FFP). Its research team of IGPA economists is dedicated to informing the public and policymakers about state budget transparency and long-term budget concerns. A generous grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation supports the project. He identifies opportunities for Fiscal Futures team to reach out to state policymakers promote Fiscal Futures-like analysis in the state budgetary process.

Winkel was an Illinois state senator from 2003 to 2007, and an Illinois state representative from 1995 to 2003. Winkel practiced law in the Champaign-Urbana area for 23 years. He earned his law degree at DePaul University, College of Law in 1982. Winkel is a co-author of a book entitled Illinois Politics, published by University of Illinois Press in January 2010.

In 1979, Winkel earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (B.A., Economics), where he was a member of Omicron Delta Epsilon, Omicron Delta Kappa, and an Edmund J. James Scholar.

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