Ameya Pawar



Senior Advisor

Economic Security Project


Ameya Pawar is a Senior Advisor with the Economic Security Project (ESP), overseeing Illinois and leading table setting around public options policy nationally and exploring state and local legislation around antimonopoly policy. Before this, Ameya served as a senior fellow with ESP, leading efforts to advance public banking and inclusive finance. He was a 2020 Leadership in Government Fellow with the Open Society Foundations.

Ameya teaches at the University of Chicago’s Crown School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice and was appointed to the Illinois Finance Authority by Governor JB Pritzker to help drive efforts to finance clean energy projects and green industrial policy. In addition, Ameya is a co-founder and managing partner of OKAY Cannabis, a multi-unit social equity cannabis dispensary operator in Illinois that merges cannabis and hospitality.

Before that, Ameya was alderman of Chicago’s 47th Ward and the first Asian and Indian American elected to the Chicago City Council.

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