Abin Kuriakose is Director of ChicagoNEXT – World Business Chicago’s dedicated initiative to drive growth and opportunity for Chicago’s tech economy. Governed by a council of technology leaders, ChicagoNEXT strategic focus areas include capital, talent, industry innovation and community impact. His portfolio of programs includes the Chicago Venture Summit, ThinkChicago and the Blackstone Inclusive Entrepreneurship Challenge.
Previously, Abin was a strategist for 270 Strategies, a public engagement firm founded by key leaders of Barack Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign, where he advised tech and innovation clients. Prior to 270, Abin was the first program manager for ChicagoNEXT from 2016-2018 where he led the 2017 and 2018 Chicago Venture Summit and supported ChicagoNEXT’s growing portfolio of programs. Before his time at 270, Abin was Deputy Chief of Staff, Director of Public Policy and Director of Community Engagement for the Cook County Board of Commissioners (Bridget Gainer – Tenth District) where he specialized in public policy development, legislative affairs and intergovernmental relations. He served as the lead policy staffer for the Cook County Board’s Pension Committee and Workforce, Housing and Community Development Committee.
Abin is passionate about civic empowerment and political engagement – especially with youth, immigrant and New American communities. Previously, Abin served on boards of New Leaders Council Chicago, Heartland Health Centers and the Chicago South Asian Arts Council. Today, Abin serves a mentor for University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy, a young leaders council member of the Millennial Action Project and Senior Advisor for the Illinois Joint Asian American Leaders Caucus. He is also an inaugural Young Professional Fellow of Indiaspora. In 2017, Abin was recognized as one of “35 under 35 Young Leaders Making An Impact” by Chicago Scholars.
Abin attended DePaul University’s Driehaus College of Business where he was the recipient of the DePaul Scholar’s Award. He is a 2018 Civic Leaders Academy Fellow of the University of Chicago where he received his certificate in civic leadership. A Chicago native, Abin was born and raised in the city’s northside neighborhoods of Hollywood Park and Albany Park.