“Art Institute of Chicago Appoints Norissa Bailey Senior V.P.”

Norissa Bailey will Join The Art Institute of Chicago as Senior Vice President, People and Culture

The Art Institute of Chicago (A.I.C.) announced on Friday, February 19, A.D. 2021 that the Museum is appointing Norissa Bailey to Senior Vice President, People and Culture, effective on Monday, March 1, A.D. 2021. She is coming to the A.I.C. from Navy Pier, Inc. – the non-profit corporation that administers Chicago’s historic Navy Pier – where she has been Vice President, People and Culture, since March of 2019.  Previously she served as Director of Human Resources at Navy Pier, Inc. from April of 2014 to March of 2019.

Figure 1 Credit: The Art Institute of Chicago Caption: This is Norissa Bailey, who is currently Vice President, People and Culture, at Navy Pier, Inc. and will become Senior Vice President, People and Culture, at The Art Institute of Chicago, effective on Monday, March 1, A.D. 2021.

In a press release, the A.I.C. stated, “At Navy Pier, Bailey proved  a thought leader, evolving organizational culture grounded in values of excellence, inclusion, integrity, and stewardship.  She transformed the employee experience and made Navy Pier an employer of choice.  Her focus included initiatives such as emphasizing leadership and management accountability through employee learning and development, promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion; and creating a rigorous and structured approach to talent management.  Bailey also played a key role in activating an effective change management strategy during Navy Pier’s reorganization.  In her previous role as director of human resources, Bailey implemented recruitment and onboarding strategies for all employees and developed an innovative performance management and goal-setting process.”   

Beforehand, she was Human Resources Manager at the architecture and interior design firm Perkins + Will from July of 2010 to April of 2014.  Prior to that experience, she was Director of Human Resources at Lifelink Corporation from September of 2007 to June of 2010.  According to the A.I.C., “Prior to her time with Navy Pier, Bailey expertly managed human resources at the global design practice Perkins and Will and nonprofit health and human services organization Corporation.  She also served on the human resources teams for Pace Suburban Bus Service and Sunsource technology Services.”[1]

Ms. Bailey earned her B.A. in psychology at Emory University, completed master’s coursework in human resources management at the Illinois Institute of Technology (I.I.T.), and attended Harvard Business School’s Executive Education program, HR-Executive Suite Connection. She holds a Senior Professional in Human Resources (S.P.H.R.) certification.  Ms. Bailey is affiliated with the Society for Human Resource Management, Chicago Women in Philanthropy (C.W.I.P.), and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.

“The first time I stepped foot inside the Art Institute of Chicago, I fell in love with this incredible and impactful place,” Ms. Bailey stated.  “It is an honor to bring my passions and people focus to advance equity and create space for all.  The Art Institute of Chicago’s mission and values of equity and justice align with my identity professionally and personally.  Dedicating a team to its people and culture shows the organization’s commitment to being the change the world needs.”

The A.I.C. stated, “In her role as SVP of People and Culture, Bailey will shape the museum’s efforts on inclusion and belonging, staff encouragement, performance management, and communications.  Under her guidance the team will advance the museum’s anti-racism and equity work and prioritize building and sustaining a supportive workplace culture in alignment with our central Human Resources team.”

“We respect and admire Norissa’s professional accomplishments and expertise,” stated James Rondeau, President and Eloise W. Martin Director of The Art Institute of Chicago.  “I am eager to continue our work with her in this pivotal role to further cultivate employee well-being and engagement and expand and reinforce our equity, inclusion and antiracism efforts.”

Ms. Bailey will work closely with Ian Damont Martin and Sandra Thompson, who run the Inclusion and Belonging arm of People and Culture.  [They are, respectively, Executive Director and Assistant Director of Inclusion and Belonging.]  She will report directly to Mr. Rondeau as a member of the museum’s leadership team.

The Art Institute of Chicago is both a museum and a fine arts school.  The museum has a collection of approximately 300,000 artworks and is located at the west of the Chicago Park District’s Grant Park.  It is one of the Museums in the Park, an umbrella organization for the museums on Chicago Park District property.  James Rondeau is also President of the Museums in the Park.  The original entrance is on Michigan Avenue and the Modern Wing entrance is on Monroe Street.  The Website is https://www.artic.edu/.

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (S.A.I.C.) occupies buildings adjacent to the museum and scattered across the Chicago Loop.  It offers degrees at the undergraduate, post-baccalaureate and professional certificate, and postgraduate levels in fields including arts administration; art history, theory, and criticism; painting and drawing; art education and art therapy; fashion design; film, video, and animation; architecture and historic preservation; ceramics; photography; printmaking; sculpture; and writing.  The Website is https://www.saic.edu/


[1] For the benefit of readers outside Chicagoland, I will explain that the Chicago Transit Authority (C.T.A.) operates buses on 140 routes and the “L” rapid-transit commuter trains in the city of Chicago and thirty-five suburbs.  [“L”. stands for elevated, but today some parts of the train system are at ground level and some are subways.]  Pace operates buses in the suburbs.  Metra operates commuter trains that run through the suburbs (both in Illinois and Indiana) into Chicago.  All three of these organizations operate under the umbrella of the Regional Transportation Authority (R.T.A.).  

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