B.A. ’84, Political Science
John Atkison is a Managing Director for Marsh USA, and serves as Chairman of Marsh Chicago. Marsh is the world’s leading insurance broker and risk advisor. With around 40,000 colleagues operating in more than 130 countries, Marsh serves commercial and individual clients with data-driven risk solutions and advisory services. Marsh is a business of Marsh McLennan (NYSE: MMC), the world’s leading professional services firm in the areas of risk, strategy, and people.
Atkinson is a recognized business leader in the insurance and human capital space. He has focused his career on building companies and teams designed to help organizations navigate complex business problems in the area of risk, people and strategy. John has received numerous industry awards, is an author and frequent speaker on topics focused on risk and human capital issues.
In his current role, he oversees one of the firm’s fastest growing businesses in North America and serves as Chairman of Marsh’s Chicago office where he leads civic engagement and community engagement for the firm and helps grow the firm’s business in the Midwest.
Until joining Marsh in 2021, Atkinson was an Executive Vice President with Willis Towers Watson where he helped lead growth in Chicago and where he built one of the firm’s fastest growing industry verticals in North America. Prior to joining WTW John was a partner in Thilman and Filippini, a closely held firm, and one of the nation’s largest privately held insurance brokers, where he led the integration of his firm into WTW.
Atkinson graduated in 1984 from Benedictine University, formerly Illinois Benedictine College with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science after transferring from College of DuPage in 1981.
Civic and Philanthropic Activities
He is involved in a variety of civic and philanthropic organizations that are central to the issues and causes he cares deeply about. Those organizations and roles include:
Chairman, Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE)
Atkinson was Appointed by Illinois Governor JB Pritzker as Chairman of the Illinois Board of Higher Education in 2019. John led the IBHE team in the development of a first of its kind, equity focused strategic plan for higher education in Illinois. A Thriving Illinois, Higher Education Paths to Equity, Sustainability and Growth. https://ibhestrategicplan.ibhe.org/
Chairman, Board of Trustees, State University Retirement System of Illinois
Appointed by Illinois Governor JB Pritzker, he is a Trustee, and Board Chair of the State Universities Retirement System of Illinois (SURS), a $27 billion pension fund serving over 236,000 members throughout the world.
Director, Cradles to Crayons
Provides kids with new and nearly new children’s items collected through grassroots community drives and corporate donations. All Donations are processed and packaged by volunteers in our warehouse located in Logan’s Square, called The Giving Factory. Packages from the Giving Factory are distributed to local disadvantaged children through our network of service partners.
Director and Vice Chair Emeritus, One Million Degrees
Accelerates community college students’ progress on career pathways to economic mobility. OMD provides comprehensive supports to community college students, including tutoring, volunteer coaching, financial assistance and professional development. OMD Scholars graduate at twice the state average with the skills and experiences necessary to launch upwardly mobile professional careers.
The leading national association of owners and operators of Senior Living, Assisted Living and Memory Care communities throughout the United States.
Member, Board of Regents, Loyola University Chicago
Member, Board of Advisors, Catholic Charities of Chicago
Member Executive Board, American Seniors Housing Association
Member, Economic Club of Chicago
Member, Chicago Council on Global Affairs