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Jenner & Block Partner Melissa M. Root has been named a 2015 Fellow of Leadership Greater Chicago, a 30-year-old nonprofit organization whose purpose is to cultivate a growing and diverse group of business, public and civic leaders for the Chicago area.
Each year, approximately 35 of the city’s most promising young individuals are selected for the program. Criteria include a demonstrated capacity for leadership in their chosen careers, a likelihood of achieving positions of substantial responsibility, a record of civic activity and/or a genuine interest in becoming more involved in the Greater Chicago civic arena.
The program’s goal is to foster a lifelong commitment to civic engagement among its diverse Fellows, who represent business, civic, nonprofit and government sectors. With the first Fellows class nominated in 1984, the program to date counts more than 900 alumni, including First Lady Michelle Obama; U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan; Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez; Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan; Valerie Jarrett, senior adviser to President Obama; and President of the Chicago Board of Education David Vitale.
Other Jenner & Block attorneys who have been selected for this prestigious program include Partners Debbie L. Berman, who currently serves as Vice President of the LGC Board; Amanda S. Amert; Matthew D. Basil; Philip L. Harris; Keri L. Holleb Hotaling; Eric A. Sacks; Michael A. Scodro; and John R. Storino.
As a Fellow, Melissa will participate in an intensive 10-month program, studying complex urban issues and meeting with the decision-makers who are working to solve them. It is an unparalleled opportunity for in-depth learning about the issues facing the Chicago area and becoming part of a diverse network of leaders working to make a difference.
Melissa is a member of the firm’s Bankruptcy, Workout and Corporate Reorganization; Bankruptcy Litigation; and ERISA Litigation Practices. She represents a broad range of clients, including Chapter 11 debtors, creditors' committees, Chapter 7 trustees, and creditors and also advises clients in out-of-court restructurings and in purchasing distressed assets. For the past three years, Melissa has been named a “Rising Star” in Bankruptcy & Creditor/Debtor Rights by Illinois Super Lawyers. She is a former Chair of the Board of Directors of the International Women's Insolvency and Restructuring Confederation (Chicago Network) and presently serves on its board of directors. She also currently serves as the programming chair of the American Bar Association’s Bankruptcy & Insolvency Litigation Committee and recently completed a two-year term as a member of the Bench/Bar Liaison Committee for the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois. She currently serves as Vice Chair of the Associate Board of the Young Women’s Leadership Charter School, the only all-girls public school in Chicago.