Karen Weigert

Senior Fellow, Global Cities

Areas of expertise: Global Cities, Global Energy


Karen Weigert served as chief sustainability officer for the City of Chicago. She was appointed in 2011. As chief sustainability officer Weigert worked to guide the city’s sustainability strategy and implementation, bringing innovative, practical solutions throughout the work of the city. 

Prior to her appointment she served as senior vice president of ShoreBank (later Urban Partnership Bank) where she built a national consumer group that generated deposits to support environmental sustainability and community development in low to moderate income urban neighborhoods. Before her work in community banking, Weigert was a strategy consultant at McKinsey where she served clients on topics including transportation, finance, energy, and land use. She began her career as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs and later served as an appointee in the Clinton administration focused on global environmental issues and agriculture.

Weigert is a producer and writer for the documentary film Carbon Nation which is focused on solutions to climate change. She is also a former board member of CNT, Foresight Design Initiative, and Earth School Educational Foundation. Weigert graduated from the University of Notre Dame (Phi Beta Kappa) and Harvard Business School. 



In the News

Russian-Backed Hackers Infiltrating US Power Grid

Chicago Tonight, August 7, 2018

The Shape of Water

Chicago Magazine, April 24, 2018

Amazon HQ2: Chicago Weather a Pro, Experts Say

ABC7, January 19, 2018

When the Lights Go Out: Cyber Threats to the Electrical Grid

RealClearWorld, December 20, 2017

Chicago Has the Best Weather for Amazon's Headquarters

WBEZ's Worldview, September 25, 2017

Chicago Has the Best Weather for Amazon's HQ2. Why? No Destructive Hurricanes.

Chicago Tribune, September 13, 2017

Be Proud: Chicago on Climate Change

Chicago Woman, September 1, 2017

Chicago Reaction to Trump Withdrawing US From Paris Climate

WTTW's Chicago Tonight, June 1, 2017

Past Event Multimedia