Sunil “Sonny” Garg, AB ’89, MBA ’00
For 25 years as an executive and board member in the private, public, and non-profit sectors, Sonny has applied his willingness to challenge conventional thinking, deep commitment to value-based leadership, and belief in taking his work but not himself seriously to both create new enterprises and transform mature organizations.
In late 2020, Sonny joined DNS Capital, the family office for Gigi Pritzker, Michael Pucker, and their immediate family to establish the DNS Phunhouse, an investment vehicle focused on seed-stage investment opportunities.
Immediately prior to DNS, he spent five years at Uptake, an industrial AI software company, launching and growing Uptake’s Energy division. With a valuation now over $2B, Uptake has been recognized both by the World Economic Forum and Bloomberg New Energy Finance as a Technology Pioneer and was named the #3 most promising AI company by Fortune.
In addition, to his early-stage experience, Sonny spent thirteen years at Exelon Corporation, a Fortune 100 company, leading various departments and divisions during periods of inflection, including retiring Exelon’s coal generating plants as the President of Exelon Power, designing and executing Exelon’s cost management program during the Great Recession and as the company’s first Chief Information & Innovation Officer, founding an Emerging Technologies department to systematically identify, pilot and scale innovative technologies within Exelon.
Sonny began his career at The Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago, where he conducted research on social capital, as well youth and neighborhood development programs, in inner-city neighborhoods. He later served as an Assistant to Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, leading the conceptualization and creation of World Business Chicago, the City’s public-private economic development organization.
In addition, Sonny also has served as the President or Chair of non-profits founded by social entrepreneurs, including the Chicago Children’s Theatre, the Interfaith Youth Core, the Invisible Institute, and Project&. Sonny has also published numerous editorials in the NYTimes, Chicago Tribune and Crain’s Chicago Business on topics varying from diversity, equity, and inclusion to civic leadership.
For his leadership, Sonny was appointed a White House Fellow by President Clinton, where he served as a senior aide to the Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget and was selected as an Aspen Institute Henry Crown Fellow. He currently co-teaches a course on High Performance Leadership at University of Chicago’s Booth School, where he is also an Executive in Residence on Civic Impact and co-leads a seminar on Business, Society and Self.
Sonny earned a M.B.A. and a B.A. at the University of Chicago, and a M.P.P. from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He and his wife are grudgingly adjusting to empty nesting.