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Lisa Reijula

Director of Global Programs, Chicago Regional Growth

Headshot for Lisa Reijula

At Metro Chicago Exports, Lisa Reijula works to increase the area’s economic competitiveness through international trade, so all residents can participate in the global economy. Metro Chicago Exports is an economic development initiative representing an unprecedented collaboration among seven counties and the City of Chicago to increase exports. Reijula designs and implements strategic programs to help businesses overcome barriers to export, such as grants to offset financial risk, an intensive strategic plan development cohort, and pitch competitions for small businesses. Reijula also served as a consultant on the Police Accountability Task Force, which was charged with creating a roadmap for real and lasting change in the Chicago Police Department (CPD). The report developed comprehensive recommendations on how to improve relations between CPD and the communities it serves. Having previously served at the US State Department, in the office of the coordinator of US assistance to Europe and Eurasia, Reijula was responsible for all security assistance accounts for the region. She entered the State Department as a Presidential Management Fellow, serving rotations at the Consulate General Hong Kong and the Defense Intelligence Agency. At the US Government Accountability Office, she served as a senior analyst in foreign affairs and trade, directed program evaluations of the treasury’s counterterrorist financing efforts, TSA’s security audits of foreign airports, and the DOD’s defense posture in PACOM. Reijula also worked for the British commercial service at British diplomatic missions in Washington and Chicago. She received a BA in political science from the University of Notre Dame and a master’s degree in national security strategy from the Naval War College. Reijula was also a Fulbright scholar in Tallinn, Estonia, researching the security implications of e-governance.