Commissioner & CEO
Chicago Public Library
Brian Bannon is a seasoned executive who has spent his career turning strategy into action and impact. Skilled in applying creativity to solve complex problems, Brian is a leader who thrives in high profile and high stakes environments. Since 2012, Brian has served as Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer of the Chicago Public Library (CPL). The CPL is the most visited civic institution in Chicago and among the largest public library systems in the US. Under Bannon's leadership, this 140-year-old institution has stepped boldly into the twenty-first century by reimagining traditional services for new audiences and serving as a national model for how large legacy institutions can adapt and thrive in the knowledge and information economy. From lending robots that instruct children in coding to creating an advanced manufacturing and 3D printing lab to expanding the award-winning digital media lab for teens throughout the city, the CPL is showing how cities can transform historic institutions into a bright centers for innovation. Bannon has received numerous accolades for this work. Most recently, he was named to the Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People In Business for 2016” list. In 2015, he was named among Chicago’s top 100 innovators by Blue Sky Innovation, a publication of the Chicago Tribune. Also in 2015, Bannon was named among Chicago’s Lit 50 by Newcity Lit, and in 2014 was named one of Crain’s Chicago Business Tech 50. Bannon has been a guest speaker at numerous conferences, including the LEGO Ideas Conference, Aspen Ideas Festival, City Club of Chicago, Gates Foundation Global Libraries Summit, Aspen Institute Forum on Communications and Society, and South by Southwest.