John M. Sirek
Throughout his personal and professional life, John has been committed to organizations and efforts that support and promote civic and cultural life. He moved to Chicago from Washington, D.C. in 2000 to join the staff of the Robert R. McCormick Foundation. Over his 17-plus years with the Foundation, he led efforts to build the civic infrastructure in the state of Illinois through improved civic education, government reform efforts, support for military veterans, and strengthening journalism.
Prior to joining the McCormick Foundation, John was the executive director of the Alfred Friendly Press Fellowships, a visitor-training program for journalists from developing countries. He also served as an overseas studies advisor in Georgetown University’s Office of International Programs and admissions counselor at St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota.
John is and has been an active board member for a number of non-profit organizations over the years. In addition to his current role on the board of TimeLine Theatre, he is board chair of CHANGE Illinois, an organization that promotes political reform in Illinois. Previously, he served on the boards of Campus Compact, City Year Chicago, PACE: Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement, the Voice Health Institute and Illinois’ Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service
John first crossed paths with TimeLine when he saw the cast of PRAVDA perform a scene at a local bookstore in East Lake View. Having completed the Arts & Business Council’s On Board program, he was looking for a theatre company to support. He went to see PRAVDA that night and immediately inquired about how he could get involved. He is inspired by TimeLine’s work and feels personally connected to TimeLine’s mission.
It’s a great organization with a great mission and people. The work on stage is second to none. My professional and personal life is all about being a responsible and active member of our communities. Learning from history to better understand today is key to doing that.
John has a BA degree in Communications from the University of Minnesota and an MA degree in International Affairs from The George Washington University. He has also studied in Sweden and Poland.
John was raised on a dairy farm in southern Minnesota. He is married to Colleen Loughlin. Together they have a daughter. He enjoys travel, photography, the visual and performing arts, food and wine.