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State Universities Civil Service System

Merit Board
Member Profile

Mr. Jim Kvedaras

Governors State University
Appointed: 8/25/2023

Jim Kvedaras is a lifelong resident of Chicago’s far south suburbs. He and his wife Cathy have two adult children and three grandchildren. He received his Bachelors of Business Administration from Governors State University and his MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

Jim recently retired after 37 years in the railroad industry, working for one of the large “Class 1” international freight railroads. He established a pattern of assuming roles of increased responsibility across a number of departments, including as Director of U.S. Government Affairs, where he managed state and local Government Affairs for sixteen states. This role was of particular importance during the acquisition and implementation of another railroad in the Chicago area, entailing an enormous amount of close support and cooperation with community leaders, elected officials, and regulatory agencies for eight years.

Previous roles included positions in Public Affairs (including as spokesman for the company’s U.S. operations), Contracts and Agreements, Corporate Development (strategic planning), and several sub-departments in engineering. One of his personal highlights throughout his career has been in reaching out to newer employees in an informal mentoring capacity, encouraging them in ways to build their own professional skills sets, improving their competence and confidence.

While he participated in various community organizations during his working career, including baseball and soccer coaching for area youth athletics organizations, he also participated for years on the Dean’s advisory committee for Governors State University’s College of Business.

He now continues to give of his personal time on boards and committees for several organizations. He is a Trustee for Governors State University (and Board Secretary), chairing several committees for the University and is a Director for the Chicago South Suburban Mass Transit District (representing his home town of Homewood). He is a longtime Board member of the Cancer Support Center of Homewood and Mokena, IL, and is currently the Immediate Past President of that Board. He has most recently started doing independent business consulting for a local community college.

A believer in lifelong learning, he looks forward to the challenges of helping provide guidance and direction to the state’s University and Community College systems and their student bodies.