President of Woods Fund Chicago
Grace B. Hou has been the President of Woods Fund Chicago since February 2012. Woods Fund Chicago is a bold grantmaking foundation that finds —and funds —projects that draw on the power of communities to fight the brutality of poverty and structural racism. Her career has been dedicated to systems change improvement through public policy development and implementation, social services provision, community organizing and engagement, and now, philanthropy.
Prior to joining the Woods Fund, from 2003 to 2012, Grace served as the Assistant Secretary at the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS). She was responsible for the oversight of the agency’s six program areas. During her time with the state, she was an architect of Illinois’ Immigrant Integration New American’s Gubernatorial Executive Order. Prior to her time with the state, Grace was the Executive Director of the Chinese Mutual Aid Association (CMAA).
Grace is the board chair of the Arthur Foundation and serves in board leadership roles at Chicago Public Media, Forefront, and the Greater Chicago Food Depository. She is a 2001 Leadership Greater Chicago fellow, a member of the Chicago Network, and a German Marshall fellow.