Chief Legal Counsel, Office of the City Clerk, Anna Valencia (Chicago)
What stands out about Ennedy Rivera is just how committed she is to service. Currently, she serves as Chief Legal Counsel to the Office of [Chicago’s] City Clerk, Anna Valencia. Previously, she was the Deputy General Counsel for the State of Illinois, Department of Central Management Services- Bureau of Finance & Administration, serving as the principal legal advisor for administrative, fiscal and operational functions for which CMS has overall responsibility for the State of Illinois. She commenced her government career as the General Counsel to the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, Evelyn Sanguinetti. Prior to joining state government, she was an ambitious civil litigator with the law office of Wysocki & Smith, a Lake County general practice law firm, where she specialized in immigration, civil and federal litigation.
Ask her what she does outside of the legal arena and she recites a list of appointments and organizational leadership positions she has held near her Lake County home. These include President of the YWCA, Mother’s Trust Foundation, Lifetime Member of the Coalición Latinos Unidos de Lake County, Illinois State Bar Association, Vista Health Hospital’s Healthy Women, Puerto Rican Arts Alliance of Chicago, Waukegan Public Schools and City of Waukegan, United States Civil Rights Commission, as well as the Lake County Community Foundation.
She attributes her dedication in large part to the example set by her Puerto Rican parents who instilled in her the importance of hard work, dedication, and of giving back to the small and diverse Waukegan community where she was born.
It isn’t difficult to see how her parents’ own community involvement have rubbed off on Ennedy, influencing her drive to take an active role as an advocate in public arenas. She speaks with passion about the opportunities she’s had, working with other top females and professionals in Lake County and developing relationships with local officials in order to address the needs of her community.
In college, she aspired to become a doctor, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in Pre-Medicine and Spanish. Instead, she took a job at a rape crisis center which sparked an interest in law and advocacy. After rethinking her professional goals, she decided to enroll in law school at DePaul University where she focused on international human rights and criminal law, earning several prestigious public interest and human rights fellowships along the way before commencing her legal career. She is proud of tirelessly working to build a stronger Latino community and certainly shows no signs of slowing down.