Since its founding in 2004, Birdie has led Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, an internationally known symphonic jazz orchestra (led by trumpeter Orbert Davis) with a robust music education program in under-resourced schools. Having grown the organization from its debut performance through its 10th anniversary, she ensures that its mission of merging ‘jazz and classical’ genres has expanded to serve the bridging of disparate cultures, communities, and audiences. Most recently, Chicago Jazz Philharmonic has frequented international headlines with its cultural exchange and diplomacy program with young Cuban musicians. In recognition of its impactful work, the organization was a recipient of the 2016 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. Birdie has always had a passion for working with emerging artists and arts organizations. Additional community commitments include board leadership of Chicago Art Department, music advisory panel member for arts education organization Ingenuity, Inc., an Illinois delegate at National Arts Advocacy Day, and serving on grant panels for the Illinois State Board of Education, Illinois Arts Council, City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events, and the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation. Birdie graduated from Columbia University with a BA in East Asian Studies and from University of Chicago with an MA in International Relations.