Zaldwaynaka Scott


Chicago State University (IL)

Zaldwaynaka (“Z”) Scott has served as the 12th president of Chicago State University (CSU) since July 2018. Scott oversaw the development and advancement of the CSU Strategic Plan 2020–2025, ensuring that the institution will lead with the mission of transformation for students’ lives through innovation and excellence in ethical leadership. Scott also formed and co-chaired the Equity Working Group, a body of leaders from across the education, public, private, philanthropic, and community development sectors to formulate an action plan for addressing Black student access and success in Illinois higher education.

Prior to her current role, Scott was an equity partner in a national law firm. She also spent more than 16 years as a federal criminal prosecutor in the position of assistant U.S. attorney in the Northern District of Illinois. Upon leaving the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Illinois State Senate confirmed her appointment as Illinois’ first executive inspector general for the agencies of the governor and its public universities.

Scott is a highly sought-after speaker and lecturer on topics related to leadership, crisis management, trial advocacy, ethics and compliance, and equity in higher education.