P33 appoints Brad Henderson as founding chief executive officer

10 May 2019 Consulting.us 3 min. read

P33, a non-profit organization tasked with driving technology leadership for the city of Chicago, has named Brad Henderson as its founding CEO. Henderson, a former senior partner at Boston Consulting Group (BCG), brings 20 years of operations and technology consulting expertise to the role.

Chicago, despite its sizable population and importance as the foremost Midwestern hub, doesn’t immediately pop out as a top-tier tech center in the vein of Silicon Valley, New York, or Boston. P33, a private sector-led non-profit organization, aims to change that. Founded by former US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, Ocient CEO Chris Gladwin, and Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago president Kelly Welsh, P33 will endeavor to turn Chicago into a tier one tech innovation hub, while promoting inclusive economic growth.

The P33 effort will focus on helping Chicago build critical mass in the business IT, life sciences, and advanced manufacturing industries, hopefully driving significant positive change by 2033.

The organization has named Brad Henderson, a senior partner and managing director in BCG’s operations practice in Chicago, as its founding CEO. Henderson was previously involved in the P33 initiative through pro-bono work from BCG, leading the research study that helped develop P33’s plan. P33 appoints Brad Henderson as founding chief executive officer

Henderson will initially focus on continuing the development of P33’s implementation plan, designing the effort’s operational and organizational structure, and marketing the city in a “bigger, bolder way.” He will also hire a staff of approximately 15 people, while seeking to raise additional funds for the non-profit.

"Brad has made significant contributions to the P33 effort to date. His engagement in the research and analysis stages of our work has given him a deep understanding of the challenges as well as opportunities ahead," P33 co-chair Penny Pritzker said. "Beyond his intellectual horsepower, Brad's strong Chicago roots and passion for his home town, combined with his global experience of working with businesses, cities, and universities to solve problems at scale, make him the right leader to drive P33 and our city's future forward."

Henderson most recently led BCG’s North America operations practice, implementing digital technologies across a range of sectors, including financial services, industrial goods, energy, and the public sector. He has particular expertise in economic and social development issues.

Henderson joined BCG as a summer associate in 2000 while studying at the University of Chicago. A Rhodes Scholar, he holds an MBA and an MSc in economic and social history from the University of Oxford, as well as an MA in social science and a BA in economics from the University of Chicago.

An active leader in the Chicago community, Henderson serves on the board of trustees for the Chicago History Museum, the Association House in Humboldt Park, and Interfaith Youth Core.

"P33 is our moment to make sure the next generation has access to greater opportunities and growth in the most inclusive way in our city's history," said Henderson. "From the moment I arrived in Chicago more than 20 years ago, I recognized that our city's biggest strength is the character of its people. We will be relying on the authenticity of that collective strength to drive the P33 effort and our city's global technology leadership forward, to create inclusive and lasting growth for people across all communities."