Maria Saldaña is the General Counsel for the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority. Ms. Saldaña is an experienced professional who has served in leadership roles in both the public and private sector. Ms. Saldana practiced law for over twenty years in the private and public sectors and has over ten years of experience as an investment banker in public finance. As the General Counsel for the Authority she is responsible for providing legal advice on all government related processes and procedures, for assisting with the negotiation of all transactional matters of the Authority and managing all outside legal counsel.
Ms. Saldaña’s experience as an attorney includes work at two major law firms. She was a senior tax associate, specializing in public finance at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and was a partner at Altheimer & Gray in the government practice area. In addition, to her legal experience in the private sector Ms. Saldaña worked as in-house counsel for the Corporation Counsel’s office for City of Chicago where she was head of the Finance Division for the City’s Law Department.
Ms. Saldaña spent close to ten years in investment banking within public finance. She served as head of investment banking for Popular Securities, Inc., in mainland U.S. Popular Securities, an affiliate of Banco Popular, a banking institution headquartered in Puerto Rico. As head of investment banking in mainland U.S., Ms. Saldaña led a team of bankers with offices in Chicago, New York City, Houston and San Antonio.
Ms. Saldaña has been civically engaged throughout her professional career. She has served on the Boards of the Chicago Public Schools and the Illinois Tollway Authority, she has also served as President of the Board of the Chicago Park District for a five year term. In addition, Ms. Saldaña has been on the Board of the Metropolitan Planning Council and Metropolis Strategies and is currently an Advisory Board member of the Illinois Justice Project.
Ms. Saldaña is a member of the Illinois State Bar. She also received her undergraduate degree from Stanford University and has a J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley (Boalt Hall).