Shelley Stern Grach

What they do: Director - Civic Engagement.
Where they do it: Microsoft
How they contribute: Guest Speaker

Shelley Stern Grach is the Director –Civic at Microsoft Corporation. The Microsoft Civic Engagement Team works with local and national partners in cities in the U.S. to strengthen metropolitan communities and regions and contribute to local opportunities and economic growth.   At Microsoft, we see how cities and counties are working at the intersection of people, programs, policy, and technology in ways that are creative, solution-oriented and highly impactful. Our team focuses on helping apply Microsoft resources, expertise, and networks to advance the effectiveness and awareness of these local initiatives and priorities.  The work touches on issues such as education and training, innovation and economic development, sustainability, criminal justice, accessibility, and transportation. We also enable the general application of tech and data to civic challenges by non-profits, governments, start-ups, and other organizations.  Through cross-sector partnerships in these and other areas, we strive to be an active collaborator on work that has a sustained and scalable impact on the lives of individuals.

Stern Grach is a past board member of nonprofits Lumity, Women’s Business Development Center, Skills for Chicagoland’s Future/Chicago Career Tech, the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, LISC Chicago and Year Up Chicago. She is a current board member of Forefront, ThriveChicago, the Illinois Science and Technology Coalition (ISTC/I), and is on the Executive Committee of ADA 25’s Advancing Leadership. She is on the Executive Committee of the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership and  a past Commissioner for the State of Illinois Workforce Board.  Shelley’s civic participation includes the Economic Club of Chicago, service on the Mayor’s Council to Bridge the Digital Divide, serving on State of Illinois’ Task Forces and as a past Commissioner on the State of Illinois Economic Recovery Commission for Education. In Michigan, she was on the Board of the Acorn Center for the Performing Arts in Three Oaks, and supports the Friends of the New Buffalo Library and Fernwood Botanical Garden.

Stern earned a double B.A. at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan and an M.A. in business from Central Michigan University. She resides in New Buffalo, Michigan and in Chicago, Illinois with her husband, a Health Care consultant. Her daughter is a graduate of the University of Chicago, received her Master’s in Physiology at Georgetown and is a medical student at the University of Illinois College of Medicine.