Lisa Madigan (2005)

Fenn Award Recipient

Read the New Frontier Award® announcement


When she took her oath of office in 2003, Lisa Madigan became the first woman ever to hold the position of Illinois Attorney General. At the age of 39, she serves as the state’s chief consumer advocate and law enforcement officer.

Ms. Madigan has spearheaded efforts leading to the passage of more than 30 legislative initiatives since she took office, including proposals to strengthen the protection of women and children from sex offenders and to inhibit the production and spread of methamphetamine. She has argued and won cases before the United States Supreme Court on behalf of the state of Illinois, including a measure to crack down on fraudulent telemarketers. She achieved a settlement with tobacco companies for allegedly marketing their products to minors, and has won praise for her leadership in demanding transparency with respect to the state’s dealings with gaming interests.

One of Lisa Madigan’s first public service roles came as a teacher in South Africa, where she lived in a convent and taught algebra and English to girls. When she returned to the United States, she embarked upon a career in law, specializing in employment issues. She first ran for elective office in 1998, when she won a seat in the Illinois Senate.

Lisa Madigan holds a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University and a law degree from Loyola University. She is married and has a one-year-old daughter.