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27. Jean-Claude Brizard

Jean-Claude Brizard

AGE: 48
OCCUPATION: Superintendent, Chicago Public Schools

He’s been handed one of the toughest jobs in the city: fixing the dysfunctional and debt-ridden public schools. But fresh off a tumultuous stint as school superintendent in Rochester, New York, the Haitian-born Brizard has got Rahm Emanuel in his corner, as well as a three-year contract that pays him more than the mayor and puts the responsibility of improving student performance squarely on his shoulders. If Brizard can deliver a higher graduation rate and more college-bound seniors, his influence could ripple through city neighborhoods, boosting the region’s economy and decreasing the crime rate.

MORE ON BRIZARD: A Chat with Jean-Claude Brizard, the Personal and Professional | Jean-Claude Brizard on Rahm, CTU President Karen Lewis, and More | Meet Jean-Claude Brizard, the Next Head of Chicago Public Schools

RELATED: Most Powerful Ex-Chicagoans | Power Couples | Power Siblings | Up-and-Comers | Poll: Which Powerful Chicagoan Would You Call Back First? | Quiz: Do You Know Chicago’s Power Players? | Back to all 100

 

Photograph: Shauna Bittle/Chicago Tribune

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