Board of Directors

Kara Bachman

Executive Director

As the Executive Director of the Chicago Sports Commission (CSC), a part of Choose Chicago, Kara Bachman holds a pivotal role in recruiting high-profile, major sporting events that elevate Chicago’s profile as a premier sports destination. Leading the charge since January 2012, she has been instrumental in driving significant economic impact, generating positive media exposure, and creating job opportunities through sports-related initiatives.

Starting as the Business Development Manager at CSC, Bachman quickly rose through the ranks and, in April 2014, was promoted to Executive Director. Under her visionary leadership, Chicago has successfully secured and hosted sought-after events with both national and international appeal. Notable achievements include bringing the 2015 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final, the 2015 & 2016 NFL Draft, 2016 Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series, multiple Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournaments, and various NCAA Championships to the city. Additionally, her efforts led to landing the prestigious 2018 Laver Cup, 2020 NBA All-Star Game, and the highly anticipated 2023 NASCAR Chicago Street Race.

One of her most significant triumphs was bringing the NFL Draft to Chicago for the first time in over five decades. Collaborating closely with the NFL, she revamped the event, drawing over 200,000 NFL fans during the inaugural 2015 edition. The NFL returned in 2016, attracting an impressive 225,000 attendees and generating substantial economic impact. The NFL Draft’s reinvention under Bachman’s guidance has made it a coveted event that continues to visit different host cities.

Bachman’s far-reaching network extends to major professional leagues, teams, and international federations. Her collaborations with organizations like MLB, NBA, NHL, NFL, and WNBA have elevated Chicago’s sporting landscape, while her partnerships with FIBA, FIVB, USA Basketball, USA Hockey, USA Rugby, USA Volleyball, World Rugby, and others have brought international brands and events to the city.

A Chicago native and lifelong athlete, Bachman began her sports career with the Chicago 2016 Olympic Bid Committee, playing a key role in raising funds and recruiting volunteers for Chicago’s bid to host the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Bachman’s passion for Chicago and commitment to its future are evident in her leadership and recognition from peers. She has been honored as one of Chicago’s most influential leaders, being named to Crain’s 40 under 40 Class of 2016 and the global search for Leaders Under 40 Awards in 2017.

Kara Bachman is a proud graduate of Loyola University of Chicago’s Quinlan School of Business, holding an M.B.A. in International Business and Finance. She earned her B.A. in International Relations from Colgate University, where she was a member of Colgate’s Division I Women’s Ice Hockey team.

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