Meegan Dugan Adell

Director, New America Chicago

Meegan Dugan Adell leads New America Chicago, which is based at The Chicago Community Trust. Her work focuses on how local communities and public policy work to improve equity and economic mobility.

Prior to joining New America, Adell worked as a consultant, specializing in ideation, policy research, advocacy, and strategy to help foundations and nonprofits improve their impact on economic equity. Recent work includes leading the Chicago Citywide Literacy Coalition through a user experience research and career pathways planning project and a paper on increasing bachelors’ degree attainment among Black and Latino communities in Illinois.

Previously, Adell worked as senior policy manager at Women Employed, developing and advocating for policy solutions to improve low-income women’s access to higher education. In that role, she led a successful effort to increase Illinois need-based aid by $35 million and integrate new policies supporting returning adults’ higher education completion.

A former McCormick-Tribune Urban Community Development Fellow at the University of Chicago, Adell also worked with Dr. Mark Joseph on a ground-breaking study of new mixed-income housing developments in Chicago. Prior to graduate school, she worked in community organizing and workforce development in the city of Chicago including welfare-to-work projects with justice involved individuals at Bethel New Life and The Safer Foundation.

Adell holds a B.A. in sociology and Spanish from North Park University and an A.M. from the University of Chicago.