Sonny Garg (he/him/his) serves as the CEO and Co-Founder of the Center for Expanding Leadership & Opportunity. An experienced board member and former Fortune 100 C-Suite executive, Sonny has over 25-years of demonstrated experience in strategically examining conventional thinking to transform mature organizations and to create new enterprises within the private, public, and non-profit sectors. Sonny’s work is guided by a deep commitment to building values-based work environments and in a belief in taking his work but not himself seriously.
Most recently, Sonny worked in seed-stage investments at DNS Capital, the family office for Gigi Pritzker, Michael Pucker, and their family, and immediately prior, launched and grew the Energy Division at Uptake Technologies, a venture-backed industrial AI software company, with a valuation over $2B.
Sonny spent thirteen years at Exelon Corporation leading various departments and divisions during periods of inflection, including retiring Exelon’s coal generating plants as the President of Exelon Power and transitioning into renewables; designing and executing Exelon’s cost management program during the Great Recession; and as the company’s first Chief Information & Innovation Officer, founding an Emerging Technologies department to systematically identify, pilot and scale innovative technologies within Exelon. He also served on the investment committee for Exelon’s venture fund.
Sonny began his career at The Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago, where he conducted research on youth and neighborhood development programs in inner- cities. He later served as an Assistant to Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, leading the conceptualization and creation of World Business Chicago, the City’s public-private economic development organization, and was appointed a White House Fellow by President Clinton, where he served as a senior aide to the Deputy Director of the Office of Management & Budget.
Sonny has served as the President or Chair of nonprofits founded by social entrepreneurs, including the Chicago Children’s Theatre, the Interfaith Youth Core, the Invisible Institute, and Project&. Sonny has also published numerous editorials in the NYTimes, Chicago Tribune and Crain’s Chicago Business on topics varying from diversity, equity, and inclusion to civic leadership.
He currently is on the board of Verve, an OT/ICS endpoint cyber-security platform, and Creospan, an IT consulting firm, as well as working at the Institute for Nonviolence Chicago, a nonprofit focused on reducing gun violence in four of Chicago’s most violent neighborhoods. He is also an Distinguished Executive-in-Residence at University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and an Aspen Institute Henry Crown Fellow.
Sonny earned a M.B.A. and a B.A. at the University of Chicago, and a M.P.P. from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
Sonny and his wife have two wonderful girls and are reluctantly adapting to being empty nesters.