Biography

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Hi, I’m Grace.

I moved to Illinois over 10 years ago to attend Northwestern. I met my husband Tim while we were working in Chicago after college, and we got married in Ravenswood in 2013. Our cat, Atlas, joined our family the same year.

I feel very fortunate to have had a broad range of professional experiences that I’ve always tackled with the “get things done” attitude of an engineer.  I’ve worked in the public, private, and academic sectors, and that combination has given me a unique perspective that helps me understand how policies and legislative trade-offs impact real people.

I’m an engineer.

I earned my PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. I conducted research to evaluate federal transportation policy and its role in electric vehicle adoption. While I was in Pittsburgh for graduate school, Mayor Bill Peduto inspired my love of pragmatic leadership and responsible government uses of Twitter.  He asked Pittsburghers to tweet him where potholes were and then he sent city workers to fix them. It was so simple, and solved the problem of potholes going unfilled because residents struggled to report them through more “official” channels.

I spent some time in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where I switched my focus from electric vehicle policy to energy policy.  Even oil-rich countries know that fossil fuels won’t last forever, and I did my best to help them plan for an eventual transition to renewable sources of energy, including solar.

I’m a small business owner.

I co-own and operate a small, women-owned business headquartered in Illinois. We work with industrial and manufacturing companies in America, helping with operations and data analysis.  Every day I see how we need to support the creation of new jobs by small business and large companies alike, while simplifying the tax code, so that businesses of all sizes can spend more of their time and money on real work instead of paperwork.

I am a former CIA cybersecurity analyst.

Now more than ever the United States faces increasingly complex threats to national security. Cybersecurity protects our economy, from online shopping to our entire financial system.  Cybersecurity protects our most critical infrastructure, from the power grid to missile defense systems.  Cybersecurity even protects the integrity of our very democracy, and we’re only recently talking about how important that protection is.

Hacking by foreign adversaries is a threat that needs far more attention from leaders, and I intend to fix that.  As a legislator I would bring necessary technological expertise to Congress to support comprehensive government defense efforts.

I have extensive private sector experience.

As an investment banker at J.P. Morgan during the financial crisis in 2008, I saw firsthand the need to be smart about financial regulations.  Making our financial system safe for all Americans while encouraging growth isn’t easy, but it can and must be done.

As the Head of Pricing at a technology startup in the trucking industry, I realized the depth of both the challenges and opportunities in training the next generation of Americans for a truly twenty-first century economy.

As consultant at McKinsey, I helped build a bridge between the public and private sectors by bringing best practices from the business world to reorganizing a federal agency, improving communication and reducing bureaucratic roadblocks.  It was inspiring to support people who spend their lives serving the American public.

I’m a candidate for the United States House of Representatives.

I want to take my diverse skills and relevant experience—solving problems, preparing for the future, and managing technology, money, and policy—to Washington to build a better government and a better future.