Lisa Madigan is in her fourth consecutive term serving Illinois as the state’s 41st, and first ever female, Attorney General. Since 2003, she has championed legislation and initiatives that protect consumers, guard communities from sex offenders, safeguard senior citizens, preserve the environment, and promote accessibility and transparency in state government.
Early Life and Education
Madigan grew up in the Chicago area and attended high school at The Latin School of Chicago. After graduation, Madigan attended Georgetown University. In 1988, she earned her bachelor’s degree and moved to apartheid-era South Africa to teach high school algebra to impoverished Zulu women. She later returned to Chicago to implement after-school programs dedicated to leading kids away from gang violence and drug abuse. The positive impact she made in the school system inspired her to further her own education by attending Loyola University Chicago School of Law.
After law school, Madigan first worked in private practice as a litigator in Chicago. In 1998, she decided to pursue a career in public service and was elected to the Illinois State Senate, where she represented parts of Cook County. After four years, she decided to run for Attorney General.
Madigan is currently the most senior female Attorney General in the country. As an active leader in consumer protection, Madigan frequently testifies before Congress and federal commissions on a range of issues, including mortgage lending abuses and privacy rights. Madigan’s focus on financial fraud and customer protection led to the creation of the state’s Consumer Protection Division. Since becoming the Attorney General, Madigan has recovered over $12 billion for Illinois.
Over her many terms as Attorney General, Madigan has worked to pass legislation that keeps women and children safe from sexual predators, and launched a statewide initiative to keep nursing homes safer from crime. Additionally, she has spearheaded efforts to promote more transparent government, which included strengthening the state’s Freedom of Information Act.
Madigan is married to Pat Byrnes, a cartoonist and contributor for The New Yorker. The couple resides in Chicago with their two daughters.