Joe Hurst

Partnerships and Engagement Manager

Originally a Chicagoan, Joe. was raised on the city’s South Side by a village of caring family and friends who would ensure the opportunity of a productive path. After attending the local Catholic school for lower and middle school, Joe received a scholarship to attend one of the best high schools the city had to offer. The University of Chicago Laboratory School High School, or Lab as it is called, opened a world of possibilities and opportunities, many of which are still realizing benefits today. After Lab, Joe graduated from Purdue University, studying the fields of economics, political science, peace studies and global studies.

Professionally, Joe has oriented his career toward creating opportunity, particularly in underrepresented communities where they may not have previously existed. As a Department of Commerce appointee, he focused on supporting the Obama Administration’s economic development, innovation, and entrepreneurship agendas. This included traveling to communities across the country to highlight these efforts. After his time in the Administration, Joe worked as a disaster responder with the American Red Cross, eventually rising to program manager and supporting the Region’s external relations and partner management efforts. Joe has spent time in the classroom through the youth education program, Junior Achievement, as well as the United States Army. Community development and empowerment are important to Joe and he looks to incorporate these into his professional and volunteer career.

As a member of the National Education Equity Lab, Joe’s role is to support the expansion and onboarding of high schools we welcome to the opportunity and university partners that will support our high schools.