Peter Eckart is a seasoned non-profit leader in the midst of transformation – his own, the field of health and human services, and our shared social compact. After 31 years of continuous learning and leadership in community development, human services, and public health, Peter is currently contributing to a variety of projects advancing community and systems change as an interdependent consultant. Peter has a passion for convening and connecting, for transparent and authentic communication, and for seeking out shared value propositions that result from personal and authentic self-reflection.
For the last six years, Peter co-directed Data Across Sectors for Health (DASH), a collaboration of the Illinois Public Health Institute and the Michigan Public Health Institute, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. At DASH, Peter led a dynamic and dedicated team to document and support the emerging field of community-based multi-sector collaboration and data-sharing. Over six years, DASH made 150 community-focused grants, simultaneously executing three primary strategies: build local capacity, build the evidence base for this community work, and build momentum for a national movement.
Within that third strategy, Peter co-founded All In: Data for Community Health, a national learning collaboration to support community growth and connection. All In represents Peter’s commitment to building things together with others. The initial force driving All In convening was, “Let’s not ask what we can do together, let’s ask if there is anything we cannot?” Over five years, All In grew to encompass seven national and state partners, hundreds of community collaborations, thousands of individual members, and a vibrant virtual community.
While at DASH, Peter prioritized equity, stewardship, alignment and engagement with persons with lived experience. Peter has become well-known as an advocate for deeper community engagement, for prioritizing equity as an inclusion criterion for grant-making and community support, for the meaningful incorporation of people with lived expertise in program operations and decision-making, and for the central requirement to build workforce and technical capacity within community-based social service agencies.
Before developing the DASH Program Office, Peter led or supported a variety of state-focused initiatives as Director of Health and Information Technology at the Illinois Public Health Institute: he led an effort to garner provider feedback on state HHS system transformation, supported early ACA efforts in Illinois, and developed Illinois’ next generation public health data portal. Before joining IPHI, Peter spent 16 years at Jane Addams Hull House Association in Chicago, beginning in community organizing and economic development, and ultimately founding and building their Management Information Systems infrastructure in support of community service delivery.
Peter has a Master’s in Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago and a Bachelors in Business Administration from Valparaiso University.