Betsy Leonard

Executive Director

Betsy Leonard is a passionate leader, strategist, and connector of people and ideas who has dedicated her career to social justice.  She made Heartland Alliance her professional home for more than 25 years, working in a variety of roles in human resources, engagement, development, and strategy. The variety and depth of Betsy’s responsibilities at Heartland Alliance have afforded her experience not only in the “hard skills” of running an organization, but also given her insight into culture and change management in highly diverse work environments.  In her development and strategic functions, Betsy has developed relationships with donors, board members, and community and corporate partners.  As an HR and culture leader, Betsy created and implemented leadership development programs, fellowships, and programs aimed at building resilience and investing in staff.  Betsy is passionate about collective care, racial equity, and the value of lived experience—and she centers these issues in her work. She draws from healing-centered, anti-racist, and restorative teachings in her culture and workforce development programming. She is a 2016 University of Chicago Civic Leadership Academy Fellow and an active board member of Heal Chicago.  In her spare time you can finder her making art and jewelry, dreaming about her next motorcycle, and planning camping trips with her husband, two daughters, and two dogs.