Chicago United names Nim Chinniah a 2011 Business Leader of Color

The business advocacy organization Chicago United has announced that Nim Chinniah, Vice President for Administration and Chief Financial Officer for the University of Chicago, is among 44 local business executives being recognized in a new publication, Business Leaders of Color

Chicago United promotes multiracial leadership in business to advance parity in economic opportunity. It supports the business community’s need to maximize the use of corporate and entrepreneurial talent, and brings together diverse senior business leaders to break through barriers to realize the benefits of diversity and inclusion.

Chicago United selects leaders for recognition based on their demonstration of integrity, commitment, drive and concern for their communities, as well as for their global experience and perspective. Described as professionals who embrace well-considered risks as opportunities, the 2011 Business Leaders of Color were selected for their leadership in solving problems and expanding markets in an ever-changing global economy.

This year’s honorees were chosen from a pool of more than 150 nominees from a wide variety of product and service industries.

Chinniah also is a member of the Diversity Leadership Council, working to ensure that the University’s relationships with its business partners appropriately reflect the University of Chicago’s commitment to diversity as part of its core mission.

Chinniah currently oversees the Administration and Finance Division of the University, which comprises more than 950 staff in several departments. Those units are Facilities Services, Human Resource Services, Information Technology, the University of Chicago Police Department, Parking and Transportation, Risk Management and Audit, Environmental Health and Safety, Financial Services, Business Diversity, and Real Estate. Other responsibilities include fiscal and strategic planning and support of University of Chicago Trustee committees, including audit, compensation, financial planning, and campus planning and facilities.

Chinniah earned an MBA from Vanderbilt University and a BS in computer science and business (summa cum laude) from Lambuth University. He currently serves on the Board of the Chicago Children's Choir and the University of Chicago Charter Schools Governing Board.

“The 2011 Business Leaders of Color represent the kind of talent that companies seek and they, in turn, actively recruit and groom other accomplished executives as an integral part of their professional mission,” said Gloria Castillo, president of Chicago United.

“Recurring values described by these individuals include developing people and relationships as top priorities. The publication provides a talent showcase of individuals eminently qualified to serve our nation’s corporations. Through their identification, Chicago United aims to accelerate the rate of change of diverse representation in corporate governance.”

Past Business Leaders of Color members include First Lady Michelle Obama, Valerie B. Jarrett, senior advisor to President Barack Obama, Christina M. Tchen, director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, Don Thompson, president and chief operating officer of McDonald’s Corp., Luis Sierra, refinery chief financial officer of BP, and more than 200 others.

Chinniah, who joined the University in 2007, also was a recent finalist for the 2011 CFO of the Year Award given by the Chicago Chapter of Financial Executives International. He also received a “Rising Star” award in 2003 from the National Association of College and University Business Officers.