DeShana L. Forney MA ’95 PAA

DeShana ForneyDeShana L. Forney is Senior Director of Government and Community Relations for Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas, subsidiaries of WEC Energy Group. In this role, DeShana is responsible for leading the company’s Illinois government and community relations strategy.

Prior to joining Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas, DeShana was the Associate Director of Governmental Relations for the University of Illinois.

DeShana has over twenty years of legislative, budgetary and management experience, which includes leading the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) as its Executive Director, serving as the Director of Public Safety and House Legislative Liaison in the Office of the Governor, and working on Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan’s Issues Development Staff.

In addition to her government affairs work, DeShana has held numerous senior political campaign positions in races for state legislative, constitutional, Supreme Court and countywide offices, and formerly served as the Democratic Party of Illinois’ Deputy Executive Director.

Gove Hall of Fame Inductees
Samuel K. Gove Illinois Legislative Internship Hall of Fame Inductees from left: Mark Denzler, Marcilene Dutton, DeShana L. Forney, David A. Joens

She was inducted into the Samuel K. Gove Illinois Legislative Internship Hall of Fame for her outstanding public service. DeShana was honored at the Old State Capitol in Springfield on March 12, 2018 alongside three other former interns: David A. JoensMark Denzler, and Marcilene Dutton.

DeShana holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Howard University in Washington, DC and a Masters of Arts degree in Political Studies from the University of Illinois-Springfield.

DeShana is on the Board of Directors for the Illinois Women’s Institute for Leadership, on the Board of Directors for the Illinois Energy Association, on the Museum of Science and Industry Black Creativity Advisory Committee, and is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

An Illinois native, DeShana was born and raised in Springfield, the state capital.