Tara Orris

Hailing from Chicago’s south side Hyde Park neighborhood, Tara brings a background in community engagement, political campaign management and local government administration to her position at the Pat Tillman Foundation. Her strong commitment to community service prompted her to leave college at the University of Illinois Chicago to tutor children in a low income suburb of Denver for AmeriCorps. She next headed south to North Carolina where she finished her undergraduate training at Salem College in Winston-Salem and dove headfirst into the political and non-profit arenas. Tara held the position of Operations Director for the RiverRun International Film Festival while simultaneously working as an independent political consultant for local, state, and national candidates. During this period, she served on the boards for several start up nonprofits and political organizations. Upon her return to Chicago in 2015, Tara was recruited to be the Finance Director for the primary and run off of a nearly successful mayoral campaign whose candidate went on to win a US Congressional seat. Over the last several years, convinced of the need to understand government from the inside, she worked as an administrator and community engagement director for several local government agencies, while earning a Master’s degree from the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy. Curretnly, as Chief of Staff for the Pat Tillman Foundation, Tara uses her unique set of skills to furhter the foundation's mission to identify remarkable military service members, veterans and spouses, empowering them with academic scholarships, lifelong leadership development opportunities and a diverse, global community of high-performing mentors and peers.

Top Areas of Focus

Business Operations
Business Transformation / Org Change
Exec Team Organization & Mgmt
Government Relations
Organizational Structure
People & Culture
Performance Development
Project Management
Strategic Partnerships / BD Strategy & Planning
Strategy & Planning

CoS Start Date

Dec 1, 2021

Current Industry


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Previous Experience

Pro Tip


Advice and thought partnership.


Networking and best practices.