Meet Team ESIL
As of January 1, 2023, Economic Security for Illinois has joined forces with Economic Security Project. While our name has changed, our mission and our commitment to Illinois remains fully intact.
Read our statement on the merge, learn more about Economic Security Project, or about our ongoing Illinois work.
Harish I. Patel
Harish I. Patel was formerly the Director of Economic Security for Illinois, which he founded in 2019. As of January 1,2023, he is the Vice President, Build the Field at Economic Security Project. and continues to support the work on the ground in Illinois.
Previously, Harish started his career working in community organizing and then shifted to craft policy at innovative nonprofits such as New America Chicago and Accelerate Change. He co-founded Chicago Votes, a non-profit organization that has played a critical role in the passage of a few landmark voting rights laws in recent years in Illinois. Harish is a New Leaders Council fellow, a former small business owner, and a proud immigrant. Harish holds a Masters Degree in Urban Planning and Policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Reach out to Harish via email.
Jenna Severson is the Communications & Digital Manager for Economic Security for Illinois, an affiliate of Economic Security Project. She leads ESP's Illinois portfolio in press response, social media strategy, and narrative change work. Previously, Jenna worked at the research and policy nonprofit Woodstock Institute, where she fought for equitable financial services policy at the local-, state- and national-level; she also worked in various nonprofits doing community organizing, disability services, refugee rights, and HIV/AIDS support. Jenna currently serves as a co-chair of Equality Illinois' Emerging Leaders Circle. Jenna earned her B.A. in English and Women’s Studies Gender Studies at Loyola University Chicago.
Reach out to Jenna for media inquiries
Gabriela 'Gaby' Bosquez is the Program Manager for Cash & Narrative Change for Economic Security for Illinois. Previously, Gabriela was a Labor Organizer for Service Employees International Union (SEIU), working towards bringing union jobs to service workers in O’Hare airport and Residential buildings in Chicago. Gabriela is an interdisciplinary artis and a lead host Chicago Vote’s of Sh*t Talks, an interview series that brings young Chicagoans together to discuss political issues affecting our community and engages young people to become politically active through arts and culture. Gabriela is a graduate of Carleton College with a B.A in Latin American Studies and a concentration in Educational Studies.
Reach out to Gaby for information about our cash policy and artist fellowship.
Hannah Gregor is the Program Manager for Build the Field at Economic Security Project. She manages the daily operations and supports the various programs of ESIL, while engaging with partners and stakeholders to drive our Future of Work vision. Previously, Hannah did research and analysis of economic policy at The University of Chicago Crown Family School of Social Work, which educates the new generation of social workers and researches social policy interventions from the community to the national stage. She has also worked on disability justice, drug reentry courts, and electoral organizing. Hannah is a graduate of Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice with a Masters Degree in Social Work.
Reach out to Hannah.
Erion Benjamin Malasi is the Director of Policy & Advocacy for Economic Security for Illinois, an affiliate of Economic Security Project. He responsible for managing our coalition work, including crafting policy proposals and campaigns to make Illinois’ tax system more equitable and to expand direct cash and income supports. Erion is bringing his legislative experience as a House Budget & Research Staffer and his organizing skills as a former community relations manager for University of Chicago’s Law Clinic on Entrepreneurship. He is a graduate of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for Political Science and a Running Start student at Southwestern Illinois College.
Reach out to Erion for policy or coalition questions.