Former White House Press Secretary & McDonald’s VIP Robert Gibbs to Keynote Roosevelt University’s Real Estate Gala

Robert Gibbs

CHICAGO–(ENEWSPF)–October 24, 2016.  Robert Gibbs, chief communications officer and executive vice president, corporate relations, McDonald’s Corporation, will be the keynote speaker at Roosevelt University’s 15th annual real estate gala hosted by its Marshall Bennett Institute of Real Estate.

The gala is considered to be the premier real estate networking event of the year in Chicago, with more than 450 industry leaders in attendance. This year’s gala will be held on Nov. 10 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Chicago.

James B. (Jim) Connor, president and CEO, Duke Realty, will be honored with the Lifetime Industry Leadership Award.

Gibbs leads McDonald’s corporate relations teams, including corporate communications, government relations and external communications. Gibbs has worked with reporters and policymakers at the highest levels of the public arena. He was press secretary during President Barack Obama’s first two years in office and served as an advisor to the president on policy and political matters. His campaign experience includes key roles in Obama’s presidential and senatorial campaigns, as well as a number of Senate races throughout the country.

Gibbs has a deep understanding of the demographic and economic changes impacting business. He co-founded and led The Incite Agency, a communications firm helping companies to further business goals and enhance reputations. He also has  been a contributor to NBC News.

Gibbs joined McDonald’s in June 2015.  Earlier this summer, the company announced it was moving its headquarters from the suburb of Oak Brook, Ill., to downtown Chicago.

”The relocation to Chicago’s West Loop embodies the significant demographic changes impacting business and real estate,” said Jon B. DeVries, director of Roosevelt’s Marshall Bennett Institute of Real Estate.  “We look forward to learning about the strategy and changes that led to this major relocation.  As the gala is scheduled just days after the election, we are also interested in insights that Gibbs can provide about things to come in Washington and beyond.”

Duke Realty is one of the largest owners and developers of commercial property in the United States and a NYSE-listed company with $7 billion in assets. Connor serves as head of the company’s executive committee, overseeing the strategic direction of the company and the investment committee, with responsibility for major capital transactions.

Since its founding in 2002, the Marshall Bennett Institute of Real Estate has grown to become one of the largest graduate real estate programs in the country, and one of the most diverse. When it was created, the Institute had 25 people in its initial class. Today, it has more than 60 enrolled students and more than 800 graduates, many of whom work at Chicago firms.

The Institute offers courses toward a Master of Science degree in Real Estate and a Master of Business Administration degree with a concentration in Real Estate. For information, visit

The gala will be held at the Four Seasons Hotel, 120 E. Delaware Place, Chicago, starting at 5:30 p.m. The event provides more than half of the Institute’s annual operating budget as well as support for named funds and scholarships.

To register for the gala, please visit or call Latosha McKinney at 312-281-3269.  Gala tickets are $500 per person.  Tables can be purchased for $5,000, $10,000 or higher.  For information, contact Jan Parkin at 312-341-4327 or email [email protected]