Richard L. Rodriguez is the CEO of Acero Schools, one of the largest and highest performing public charter school networks in Chicago. With 15 schools serving nearly 7,800 K-12 students across the city, Acero partners with students, families and colleagues to cultivate achievement, community, excellence, resilience, and optimism at all network schools.
A lifelong Chicagoan, Rodriguez has dedicated much of his professional career in service to the city he calls home. Prior to leading Acero Schools, Rodriguez was the vice president and business development director at Lendlease Corporation, a leading global property and infrastructure solutions provider. He was also the vice president at Res Publica Group, an award winning strategic communications firm.
Serving in a number of public sector leadership roles as commissioner, Rodriguez oversaw three city departments, including the Chicago Department of Buildings, Department of Aviation, and Department of Environment. He also served as president of the Chicago Transit Authority, oversaw strategic sourcing programs for the Chicago Public Schools, and managed operations during the historic, “Plan for Transformation,” spearheaded by the Chicago Housing Authority.
An attorney, Rodriguez began his career as legal counsel at the Office of the Attorney General of Guam. He later served as deputy director of the Guam Governor’s Disaster Recovery Office and ultimately joined the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
A staunch education advocate, life-long learner and son of immigrant parents, Rodriguez serves on the Board of Trustees for DeVry University and Loyola University Chicago, where he is an adjunct Political Science Professor and pursuing a Ph.D. in sociology.
Rodriguez earned a juris doctorate in international law from Chicago-Kent College of Law and a bachelor's degree in both Sociology and Communications from Loyola University. He resides in Chicago with his wife and is the proud father of five children.