Caronina Grimble


Caronina is director of the Office of Strategy, Equity, and Transformation at the Illinois Department of Human Services, which manages the department-wide strategic planning process as well as the equity and racial justice planning and implementation. This is her second stint in state government, previously serving as Acting Associate Director of the Division of Family and Community Services at the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS), managing a group of human services programs that provided homeless services, emergency food services, immigrant and refugee services, domestic violence services, and managed a federal block grant that funded an array of community services programs.


Before re-joining the Illinois Department of Human Services, Caronina served as a Program Officer at Woods Fund Chicago from 2013 to 2020. As Program Officer, she shared responsibility for reviewing grant proposals, making informed funding recommendations to Woods Fund’s Board of Directors, monitoring relationships with organizations that Woods Fund supports, and identifying service gaps and areas appropriate for Woods Fund’s support. Caronina worked to leverage the impact of Woods Fund’s grantmaking into increased interest and engagement from other foundations. In addition to supporting Woods Fund’s grantmaking, Caronina also led the foundation’s racial equity work.


Prior to that, Caronina worked as a therapist and case manager at Wheaton Youth Outreach, a multi-purpose community resource center, where she provided mental health services for individuals and families, emergency crisis intervention for locked-out and runaway youth and their families, and an array of services to homeless and at-risk youth, as well as pregnant and parenting teenage girls.


Caronina has served on the Boards of The Lawndale Christian Health Center, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, Chicago Women in Philanthropy, Chicago African Americans in Philanthropy, and Working Bikes.


Caronina grew up in Maywood, IL, and is a resident of North Lawndale.