Jesse Ruiz is a Partner, General Counsel, and Chief Compliance Officer of The Vistria Group, a private investment firm focused on investing in middle-market companies and delivering both financial returns and societal impact.
Prior to joining The Vistria Group, Jesse was the Deputy Governor for Education in Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker’s administration, overseeing the state’s education system from early childhood through higher education, as well as the Illinois Student Assistance Commission and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. Jesse also served as legal counsel to Governor Pritzker’s transition committee. Before joining the Pritzker administration, Jesse was a partner in the Corporate & Securities Group of Drinker, Biddle, & Reath LLP (n/k/a Faegre, Drinker, Biddle, & Reath LLP). For 22 years at the firm, Jesse focused his practice on middle-market mergers and acquisitions and commercial transactions.
Throughout his legal career, Jesse has also dedicated time to public service. He served as President of the Chicago Park District Board of Commissioners, Commissioner on the Public Building Commission, Vice President of the Chicago Board of Education, Interim CEO of Chicago Public Schools, Chairman of the Illinois State Board of Education, Commissioner on the U.S. Department of Education Equity and Excellence Commission, Commissioner on the Illinois Supreme Court Character and Fitness Committee, and Commissioner on the Chicago Public Schools Desegregation Monitoring Commission.
Jesse received his JD from the University of Chicago Law School, where he served as an editor of the University of Chicago Law School Roundtable, received the Ann Watson Barber Outstanding Service Award, and studied under then-professors Barack Obama and Elena Kagan. He received his Bachelor of Arts in economics from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
The proud son of Mexican immigrants, Jesse is a life-long Chicagoan and is married to fellow attorney and University of Chicago Law School alum, Michele Ruiz. They have two sons, Jonathan and Benjamin.