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Sheila Penrose

Sheila Penrose

Co-Founder and Co-Chairman

Corporate Leadership Center



Sheila Penrose is a director of McDonald's Corp and JLL, Inc., where she serves as Chairman of the Board. Sheila co-founded and co-chairs Corporate Leadership Center (CLC), a partnership between major corporations and academic institutions to augment and accelerate the development of corporate leaders and advance business leadership practices. Sheila formerly served on the boards of Nalco Chemical and eFunds Corp and was Executive Advisor to Boston Consulting Group. She is a frequent speaker and author on leadership and governance issues.

Sheila was the first woman named to Northern Trust Corporation's management committee and, from 1994 to 2000, President of Corporate and Institutional Services, a billion dollar business with client assets of $1.5 trillion in more than 80 markets worldwide. Under her leadership, the business was transformed from a product organization to one organized around client segments, and net income grew 17% annually. She represented Northern Trust with the investor community, oversaw several acquisitions and drove the bank's global expansion.

Prior to Northern Trust Corporation, Sheila was an economic advisor to the British Treasury, a member of the negotiating team for the IMF agreement and advisor on budget policy and anti-inflation strategies in the aftermath of the world oil crisis in the 1970's. She began her career as a lecturer in Economics at Central London Polytechnic, United Kingdom.


Non-Profit & Community Activities

  • Corporate Leadership Center, Co-Chairman and President
  • Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Trustee and Executive Committee
  • Rush University Medical Center, Trustee and Executive Committee
  • Museum of Science and Industry, Trustee
  • Chicago Club, Director
  • Chautauqua Institution, Trustee
  • Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Trustee and Executive Committee
  • Stanford Graduate School of Business, former Advisory Board Member
  • London School of Economics, North American Advisory Board Member


  • Commercial Club
  • Civic Committee
  • Chicago Club
  • Economic Club of Chicago
  • The Chicago Network
  • Executives Club


  • Anti-Defamation League Woman of Achievement Award
  • Girl Scouts Luminary Award
  • Midtown Metro Leader Award
  • YWCA Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Junior Achievement’s Chicago Business Hall of Fame


  • Undergraduate degree in economics; graduate diploma in education, University of Birmingham, England
  • Masters degree, London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Executive Program, Stanford Graduate School of Business
  Corporate Leadership Center Kellogg School of Management University of Chicago Booth School of Business
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