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Commissioner Dennis Deer married his high school sweetheart, Barbara Deer in 1996 and is father to 3 amazing young adults, a set of college-aged twin young men, and a daughter who is in high school. Born and raised on Chicago’s West Side, Dr. Deer currently resides in the North Lawndale community. His lifelong dedication of servitude to the community in areas of employment and training, re-entry, economic development, affordable housing, healthcare, and education is what inspires him every day to fight for the citizens of the 2nd district in Cook County. He is a Jackson State University Graduate where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Elementary/Special Education and a Masters of Science in Rehabilitation Psychology and went on to also earn a Ph.D. in Christian Psychology. 


Dr. Deer is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, Clinically Certified Forensic Counselor, and a Certified Corrective Thinking Therapist. He is certified as an Illinois Law Enforcement Standards and Training Instructor, as well as a Cognitive Restructuring National Trainer. This has allowed Dr. Deer to help craft creative solutions to community issues using a multitude of lenses.



Cook County Commissioner Dennis Deer proudly represents one of the most diverse districts in Cook County. The 2nd Cook County District extends north to Division, south to 75th Street, east to King Drive, and west to Laramie. The aldermanic wards encompass the Englewood, East and West Garfield, North Lawndale, Little Italy, Noble Square, River North, Washington Park, South Loop, and West Loop communities; and the Michigan Avenue Business District, Chicago Theatre District, and Illinois Medical District.


Before Dr. Deer became a Commissioner for Cook County he was known for his work organizing and as a non for profit leader.  Dr. Deer’s long track record of serving the community demonstrates a sustained level of involvement over many years, and a track record for giving back. He currently serves on several not-for-profit and community boards including Strategic Human Services and North Lawndale Community Coordinating Council. Due to his incredible work advocating for Domestic Violence victims, he was appointed to the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) Domestic Violence Advisory Council (DVAC); Partner Abuse Intervention Programs Subcommittee; Executive Steering Committee of Domestic Violence Accountability Council (DVAC); and is Vice President of the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence.


Dr. Deer was recently appointed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services to serve as a council member of the National Institute of Health. His pride and joy though is the work he did as a community organizer and in executive leadership roles. He quickly became known for his ability to make himself readily available for people who needed his help. Through his work, Dr. Deer has helped to transform the lives of individuals and families who stopped believing in themselves and/or were counted out by society. He has been and continues to be a servant-leader, fighting for the voiceless, and has remained unquestionably dedicated to the community to impact positive change.

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