Ricardo (Ric) Estrada was named President and CEO of Metropolitan Family Services, one of Chicago’s first and largest human services agencies, in March 2011.
Estrada has two decades of leadership experience in social services/human services, bringing expert perspective to areas including strategic planning and management, program development, communications, fundraising and education. He also is a sought-after speaker, addressing global and local audiences on issues ranging from private/nonprofit partnerships to the future of philanthropy.
Prior to joining Metropolitan Estrada served as First Deputy Commissioner of the City of Chicago’s Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS). There he managed a $460 million budget, developing strategies to strengthen program services supporting Chicago’s vulnerable families, focusing on children, youth, seniors and the homeless, as well as directing the department’s emergency services Division.
Before that he served as Executive Director and Associate Executive Director of Erie Neighborhood House in Chicago, where his accomplishments included creating Erie Elementary Charter School, growing the organization’s budget from $5.8 million to more than $11 million, and expanding the organization’s facilities and service areas. These accomplishments won numerous accolades including but not limited to Microsoft’s Unlimited Potential Award, Bank of America’s Neighborhood Builders Award and the Sara Lee Foundation’s Chicago Spirit Award.
Estrada also held various roles, including that of Associate Executive Director, at Latino Youth, Inc. in Chicago. In addition, he was an associate professor at Saint Augustine College in Chicago and has consulted at several local social services organizations. Estrada actually launched his professional career as a graduate policy intern with Metropolitan Family Services (then known as United Charities), in 1992.
His record of civic and community involvement spans two decades. Most recently he was appointed to Chicago Mayor-Elect Rahm Emanuel's Transition Committee for Social Services and Healthcare, in March 2011. Estrada also was named a Trustee of the University of Illinois in January 2011. In addition he serves as Vice President, Board of Directors, of Leadership Greater Chicago; Board member of the Woods Fund of Chicago; Board member of Erie Elementary Charter School; and member of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs Selection Committee, Emerging Leaders Program.
Estrada’s awards include being named an American Marshall Memorial Fellow and the Loyola University Chicago Latino Alumnus of the Year, as well as receiving the City Club of Chicago John A. McDermott Award for Distinguished Social Leadership, and the Citibank Hispanic Heritage Award. He also was selected as one of Crain’s Chicago Business’ "40 under 40" in 2002.
Estrada’s educational background is grounded in social services and business, including an MBA from the University of Illinois at Chicago, an M.A. in Social Service Policy and Administration from the University of Chicago, and a B.S. in Psychology from Loyola University of Chicago.