Washington DC

Chicago Booth Alumni Club

Chicago Booth

Network, learn, socialize, and stay connected with Chicago Booth alumni in your area.

About Us

The Chicago Booth Alumni Club of Greater Washington DC was founded in the early 1970’s and is one of Chicago Booth’s oldest alumni chapters. 

The Chicago Booth Alumni Club is proud to present our very own annual Economic Forecast, monthly Entrepreneur Advisory Group, Chicago Women in Business (CWiB), Brats n’ Brew, Worldwide Happy Hour, and coming up in the near future, a Government Roundtable.

Through special arrangements, the Chicago Booth Alumni Club of Greater Washington DC may also have access to some events and activities held by other members of a consortium of top business school alumni associations in the DC area. The Chicago Booth Alumni Club also participates in the Compass DC Pro-Bono Consulting Program.

There are over 800 Chicago Booth alumni in the Greater Washington DC area who are registered with the Office of Alumni Affairs. Over time, we wish to meet each and every one of you. If you are new in town, we hope you will join us. If you have time, we hope you think about giving back by volunteering. We look forward to seeing you all at some event in the near future.

Club Leadership

Leif Jackson, '08

Vice President 

Eileen Schmidt, ‘01

Communications Chair
Darrylyn Bakshi, '97

Events Chair
Imran Hussain, '06

President Emeritus
Aaron Stopak, ’03 (AXP-2)

Leadership Bios:

Leif Jackson worked for four years in the US in financial services and a non-profit organization, prior to attending Chicago Booth. He entered Booth with the dream of working abroad to help alleviate poverty through financial services. Because of a fellow Booth Alumnus, he was given the opportunity to enter a global rotational program through Barclays Bank. Right after graduation, he was assigned to Egypt to support growing the asset base of the bank in the unbanked market. After spending a few years abroad in Egypt and London, he returned back to Washington, DC to take a position as a Director of Strategy for a public charter school network which provides education services to the poorest areas in his hometown. Leif feels compelled to do what he can to help Chicago Booth develop, select, and enable some of the best and brightest minds in the world to give them the same opportunities he has had. Leif is honored to serve you as Club President for the Washington, DC area.

Darrylyn (Martin) Bakshi is a JD/MBA and a 20 year veteran of corporate operations and legal policy. She graduated from Chicago Booth in 1997 with degrees in Marketing, Strategy, and Policy, and obtained her law degree from the University of Maryland’s Francis Carey School of Law, focusing on business and technology law. She has worked in District and Bankruptcy courts, and as a Policy Clerk for the Financial Services Roundtable. While at the Roundtable, she was charged with policy writings underscoring the implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act by key banking regulatory agencies, and contributing to industry comments on 401k plan design.

Darrylyn has served as Program Director and/or Marketing Director for several key UChicago Alumni Law Society regulatory affinity programs covering antitrust law (w/Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP), corporate governance, and energy and environmental law (w/Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman and the UChicago Energy Policy Institute (EPIC). As a Board Member and DC Regional Director for the UChicago Booth African-American Alumni Association (CBAA), Darrylyn has spent the past three years creating, leading, and executing broader affinity programs for UChicago DC including NBA games, jazz arts events at the Kennedy Center, and annual events with the UChicago Institute of Politics in DC.  She is also a member of the Chicago Booth Global Leadership Summit.

Darrylyn has received several leadership awards and recognitions from business and community efforts. She is married to Pradeep Bakshi, an Information Technology Consultant. She resides with her husband and kids in Montgomery County, MD, and enjoys music, sports, vacationing with her family, and volunteering.  


Chicago Booth Alumni Club of Washington, DC By-Laws

July 23, 2014


The name of this organization is the Chicago Booth Alumni Club of Washington, DC.


Our purpose is to provide our alumni in the Washington, DC area with opportunities to network, develop their careers, and socialize within our community. Through these events, we hope to create a sense of belonging to the Chicago Booth community, elevate the reputation of Chicago Booth in our area, and encourage involvement in future club activities.


All alumni of Chicago Booth (or The University Chicago Graduate School of Business) living in the Washington, DC membership area shall be eligible for membership.


All officers must be alumni of Chicago Booth living in the Washington, DC membership area. Decisions on significant issues will be made by a majority vote of the officers, with each officer receiving one vote.

Section 1 – Officer Roles


Provides strategic leadership, coordinates activities with the Alumni Office, represents the DC Club, and maintains contact with other regional Club leaders. This position maintains overall responsibility for the Club's activities and communications (including bi-weekly newsletters), convenes meetings, works to recruit other alumni volunteers, and builds a sense of community with all Booth DC alums. Also, in conjunction with the Booth Alumni Office, will coordinate career-related events and support admissions as needed. Acts as liaison between the Alumni Office and the Club.

Vice President:

Supports the President in the performance of all duties and presides in the President's absence. Represents the Club and President at meetings the President cannot attend. Takes minutes on votes in the officers’ meetings. Reports to the President.

Communications Chair:

Provides timely information to the Booth Alumni Office as needed for University websites and social media outlets. Develops, administers, and updates the DC Alumni Club social media outlets including LinkedIn and Facebook in a timely manner. Coordinates and provides outreach to involve new volunteers and members. Prepares and presents an annual communication plan to the officers for feedback. Attends social events to help bridge connections. Reports to the President.

Events Chair:

Develops and maintains a schedule of events. Assists the club and group leaders in planning events including an annual economic event, either Booth’s official Forecast when DC is chosen, or a Club created one. Provides assistance to groups on event registration options such as the University registration system or commercial options. Reports to the President.


Has overall responsibility for the financial integrity of the Club.  Maintains appropriate documentation and records. He/she attends Club meetings, works to recruit other alumni volunteers, works on the financial aspects of events when needed, and provides written quarterly and annual financial reports. Reports to the President.

Section 2 – Officer Duties

The duties of the officers shall be to manage the operation and activities of this Chicago Booth Alumni organization in accordance with the Chicago Booth Alumni Club Guidelines and the other by-laws of this organization, including but not limited to:

a) Participating in officer conference calls or meetings held at least quarterly.

b) Offering a minimum of two flagship events for the membership annually.

c) Working with the Booth Alumni Office to nominate and elect officers.

d) Sharing appropriate information with the Booth Alumni Office.

Section 3 – Term of Office

The term of office for officers shall be three years. Officers are eligible to be reelected to no more than one consecutive term.

Section 4 – Election of Officers

Officers shall be nominated and elected using an online or other process managed by the Booth Alumni Office. An officer is elected by receiving the most votes of the members. In the event of a tie, officers will work with the Booth Alumni Office to hold a run-off election.

Section 5 – Inability to Serve Complete Term

If an officer is unable to complete her/his term of service, the remaining officers will decide how to fulfill the duties of the officer including appointing a new officer. The method chosen must be approved by the Booth Alumni Office. If the President is unable to complete her/his term of service, the Vice President will assume the President position until the next election.


The officers may establish committees and subgroups and appoint Chairs of those committees and subgroups. All committees and subgroups must have at least one Chair who is a Booth alumna/alumnus. Members do not have to be Chicago Booth alumni.


The fiscal year of the club shall be the same as the Booth Alumni Office fiscal year.


The by-laws may be adopted, repealed or amended, in whole or in part, at any time, by the affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the officers and approval of the Booth Alumni Office.


Any officer may resign at any time and is requested to give written notice to the officers and Booth Alumni Office. Alumni Organizations and/or the Chicago Booth Alumni Office may remove any officer before the expiration of his/her term for just cause after notice and opportunity to be heard by the remaining officers or board, if so exists. The opportunity to be heard may be in writing or in person at the request of the said officer. A meeting notice, which must specify the proposed removal as the purpose of the meeting, must be delivered to all officers and board, if so exists. A vote of all officers, excluding said officer, is required for removal.


The alumni organization will have at least one annual meeting with its membership reviewing the activities of the organization for the previous year and the plan for the following year. 

Club Membership

Membership in the Chicago Booth DC Alumni Club is open to all alumni of the full-time, evening, weekend, executive, and PhD programs, as well as current students, faculty, and staff of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.


Being a member of the Chicago Booth DC Alumni Club, you will hear from us about networking and career development events throughout the year. Members enjoy activities ranging from informal quarterly events such as happy hours to our monthly Entrepreneur Advisory Group (EAG) and Booth Energy Network (BEN) meetings. The highlight of our annual events is the Booth Economic Forecast dinner – past speakers have included:

  • Raghuram G. Rajan, Booth finance professor and former economic counselor and director, International Monetary Fund
  • David Rubenstein, co-founder and managing partner of The Carlyle Group
  • Steve Preston ’85, former US Secretary Housing and Urban Development

Other activities include brunches, business panels, admission recruiting, and distinguished speaker series featuring University of Chicago Booth professors. The Chicago Booth DC Alumni Club is also a part of the overall University of Chicago Alumni Association of Washington DC whose members enjoy university-wide events, including happy hours, jazz concerts, book club, dinners, baseball games, local tours of notable attractions, career panels, and distinguished speaker series by University of Chicago professors.

Industry-Specific Booth Groups

Entrepreneur Advisory Group (EAG)

At each meeting, an entrepreneur presents a business problem and the group tries to solve it. Meetings are held on the third Wednesday of each month, from 7-9 PM. Contact Matt Whitaker, '95.

Chicago Booth Women's Network

The Chicago Booth DC Alumni Club welcomes the Chicago Women in Business Alumnae Network (CWIBAN). CWIBAN is a worldwide organization of recent women graduates of Chicago Booth. Led by a team of alumnae volunteers and founded in 2002, CWIBAN connects over 4,100 members living in six continents and is recognized as one of the most active Booth alumni groups. Our mission is to support our alma mater, facilitate a global alumnae network online and in person, and support women in business worldwide. Past events in the DC area include Women’s Week/Forte events to attract prospective women students. Future events include alumnae brunches and an annual holiday tea. If you are interested in volunteering to shape the direction of this group in the DC area, or if you are interested in helping out just one time, please contact Gila Vadnai-Tolub Women's Network president, or Dawn Leijon, DC group leader.

Booth Energy Network (BEN)

The Booth Energy Network (BEN) is a global network for Booth alumni and non-Booth University of Chicago alumni that share an interest in the energy industry. BEN is continuing to grow through local chapters in cities across the world and is becoming a virtual and physical platform for the active sharing of insights and ideas as well as a tool to reinforce a network of professional contacts amongst the entire Booth and University of Chicago community. Join one of the breakfasts or events organized by BEN and meet colleagues that share an interest in energy. Contact Claiborne B. Booker, '92.


The Chicago Booth DC Alumni Club actively participates in the Compass DC Pro-Bono Consulting Program. In 2013-2013, Compass provided a total of $4.5 million of pro bono consulting services for 39 different non-profit organizations.  Compass' consulting projects are focused on board development, funding strategy, strategic alignment, strategic planning, strategic collaborations, partnerships, and mergers, and strategic marketing.  Members are welcome to volunteer their consulting services.  Contact Craig Schultz, '93, former Compass Board member and volunteer. 

US-China Mentorship: Connecting with China's Future Leaders

Volunteer to serve as a mentor to Chinese students studying in the Washington, DC area. Contribute to better future relations between the US and China.

China and the US are two powerful countries with different cultures and customs who are likely to be rivals for decades to come. Without people to bridge the gap, there will be many costly and dangerous misunderstandings. Many Chinese students going to college in the US today will be Chinese leaders tomorrow who can serve as a bridge between these two countries.

Chinese students are eager to learn about US business, participate in internships, get jobs, learn about how US business people think, and how US businesses operate. Business school alums have had a great business education, have real world experience, and understand how things work. Many of us enjoy giving something back, contributing to a better world, and serving as a resource or coach for young people just starting their careers.

This US-China Mentorship project will put the two together. The result will be one-on-one or small group meetings between students and business school alum mentors (you). Students will get an opportunity to see a real office environment, learn first-hand about different types of careers and, if you are willing, receive individual coaching. Alums get a chance to help a young person starting their career and contribute to a better world.

Students will be made aware of this program through their local US university Chinese student
associations. Alumni will be made aware through alumni newsletters and other media. A team of alumni volunteers, led by Lester Johnson, Chicago MBA, will lead the project. The result will be a deeper understanding and appreciation of each other's business culture by future Chinese leaders and business people in the US. It will foster better relations between the two most powerful countries in the world.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: You can do as much or as little as you wish. You can make yourself available for two hours a month or two hours a week as a resource or coach for these students. Or, you can help develop and manage this program. To volunteer or get more information, email Les Johnson or call him at 202-580-6520.

The Chicago Booth DC Alumni Club seeks members to help with organizing Chicago Booth DC Alumni Club activities and events. If you have any question regarding membership, volunteering, or starting an industry specific Booth group, please contact Aaron Stopak, '03.

Stay Connected

Chicago Booth DC Alumni Club eNewsletter
The Alumni Office publishes a bi-monthly e-Newsletter about activities in the DC area that is distributed to local alums. 

Chicago Booth DC LinkedIn Group and Facebook Page

We maintain a LinkedIn Group and Facebook Page to help connect alumni who are local or otherwise interested in connections in the DC area. Visit the Chicago Booth DC LinkedIn Group and Facebook Page.