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Andrea L. Zopp
Andrea Zopp, a distinguished corporate and civic leader who has lead transformative change in the public and private sectors, was appointed as president and CEO of the venerable Chicago Urban League in September 2010. Established in 1916, the Chicago Urban League supports and advocates for economic, educational and social progress for African-Americans.

Before her appointment to the Chicago Urban League, Zopp was executive vice president and general counsel at the Exelon Corporation. Zopp joined Exelon in 2006 as senior vice president, Human Resources. In January 2008, she was appointed executive vice president and chief human resources officer. In this role, she led the company’s human resources, diversity, labor and employee relations and security functions.

Prior to joining Exelon, Zopp was senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary of Sears Holdings Corporation. In this position she had responsibility for legal affairs, governance, public relations, government affairs, and compliance.
Before joining Sears, Zopp was vice president, deputy general counsel in the law department at Sara Lee Corporation. Prior to Sara Lee, Zopp was a partner in the litigation department of the law firm of Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal, specializing in the areas of commercial, employment and white-collar criminal litigation. Zopp was also the first assistant state’s attorney in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office where she was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the nation’s second largest prosecutor’s office. Zopp was the first woman and African-American to serve in this role.

From 2005-2007, Zopp served as a director of Andrew Corporation, a publicly traded $2 billion, international manufacturer and supplier of telecommunication systems, components and solutions, where she served on the compensation and nominating and governance committees.

She currently serves on the board of Urban Partnership Bank, a privately held community bank with $1.4 billion in assets, where she chairs the Human Resources Committee and serves on Nominating and Governance.

Civic Involvement

Currently, Zopp is a member of the Chicago Board of Education and serves on the boards of Navy Pier, Inc., and the Black Ensemble Theater. Zopp served as chairman of the board of directors of the Chicago Area Project, a community-based delinquency prevention program. She was president of the board of directors of Leadership Greater Chicago and was a member of the Harvard Alumni Association board of directors. Zopp spent several years on the board of trustees for the National Urban League and on the Cook County Health and Hospitals Systems board.

Zopp is a member of the Commercial Club, The Chicago Network, The Economic Club and the Black Women Lawyer’s Association. In March 2000, she was named by Illinois Governor George Ryan to serve on the Commission to Review the Illinois Death Penalty Process. In May 2003, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley named her as co-chair of a panel reviewing the City’s building and safety code enforcement in the wake of the E-2 Nightclub tragedy. In September 2004 she became chair of the Blue Ribbon Commission on Magnet and Selective Enrollment School Admissions for the Chicago Public Schools. Zopp is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.


Zopp received a bachelor’s degree in history and science and a juris doctor degree from Harvard University. She began her legal career as a law clerk to United States District Judge George N. Leighton in the Northern District of Illinois. She has taught as an adjunct professor at Harvard Law School, Northwestern University and the University of Chicago School of Law.

Entries by Andrea L. Zopp

Fuel Needed to Ignite Entrepreneurial Spirit

(0) Comments | Posted April 8, 2015 | 5:26 PM

Chicago's African American community is unrivaled in its burning entrepreneurial spirit. It began with Jean Baptiste Point Du Sable, the city's founder and first recorded resident, and has continued with business icons including John H. and Eunice Johnson of Ebony/Jet and Edward Gardner of Soft Sheen hair and beauty products....

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Don't Give Away Your Power On April 7

(1) Comments | Posted March 23, 2015 | 11:19 AM

The men and women who risked their lives for the right to vote would never have imagined that 50 years after Bloody Sunday and the historic march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge that a Black president would be paying homage to their sacrifice.

But it happened March 7, and many...

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Lessons from 'Selma'

(0) Comments | Posted February 2, 2015 | 2:58 PM

Selma is an outstanding film that vividly portrays the frightening experiences and personal sacrifices made by civil rights activists in their quest to defend voting rights for Blacks in the South. The film reminds us that the movement was complicated and, at times, very ugly. Black and white people were...

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Ferguson: Where Do We Go From Here?

(12) Comments | Posted November 29, 2014 | 12:03 PM

The November 24th grand jury decision to not file charges against Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson in the August shooting death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown sent shockwaves across the nation and made me, like many others, angry, frustrated and heartbroken.

Although I was disappointed, I was...

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A Movement that Matters

(0) Comments | Posted October 29, 2014 | 7:07 PM

In the past few years I've used this platform to talk about the strength of our community and how we can leverage our economic and political power to make an impact in Chicago. There is no greater way to demonstrate our political power than by exercising our right to vote....

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The Civil Rights Act of 1964: Unfinished Business

(0) Comments | Posted June 25, 2014 | 5:02 PM

It has been 50 years since passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Called for by President John F. Kennedy in 1963 and pushed through Congress in 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson, it is arguably the most important legislation to come out of the Civil Rights Movement. This...

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Red Line Reconstruction: A Model for Minority Inclusion

(2) Comments | Posted April 29, 2013 | 2:02 PM

In a few weeks the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) will begin the Red Line South Reconstruction Project. This comprehensive project, which stretches from Cermak Road to 95th Street, will make much needed improvements to the Red Line. While this effort will force riders to use alternative routes for five long...

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Empowered Women Are Game Changers

(0) Comments | Posted February 28, 2013 | 5:05 PM

Throughout our history, Black women have drawn strength from a deep well inside them to overcome injustices and wield power and influence to improve people's lives. Take Rosa Parks, for instance. She was a quiet woman, an introvert. Not the kind of person one would expect to take a stand...

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What Will Our Legacy Be?

(3) Comments | Posted February 1, 2013 | 3:25 PM

African-Americans have a lot to reflect on as we enter 2013. January 1 marked the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, the first significant step to end slavery in the United States. On January 21, we celebrated the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and inaugurated, for the second...

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We Can Do Better. We Must Do Better

(20) Comments | Posted December 28, 2012 | 5:05 PM

Like many of you, I was heartbroken when I learned of the massacre of 20 innocent children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14th. And, just like you, I was very disturbed that the gunman, armed with military-style weaponry from his home, was...

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Get Engaged in a Child's Education

(3) Comments | Posted December 4, 2012 | 2:58 PM

Outside the Museum of Contemporary Art downtown stands a 48-foot tall, 20-foot wide art installation that spells out the word "MOTHERS" in neon lights. Made of steel, it even rotates. The London-based artist who created it said he wanted to show that mothers are larger than life and...

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Why You Must Vote: Because This Is Personal

(31) Comments | Posted October 12, 2012 | 10:06 AM

Election Day is one month away. In August, I began a three-part series on why you must vote. Last month's column talked about the critical issues like access to healthcare impacted by the individuals we elect into office. This month it's personal. It's about us and how black voter apathy...

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Decision 2012: Why You Must Vote

(17) Comments | Posted September 28, 2012 | 6:49 PM

It's less than two months away from Election Day. After the abysmal turnout in Chicago for the mayoral election, I am concerned that a lot of people still do not get why they have to vote. So from now until the election, I am going to use this column to...

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