Meet the Executive Director/Executive Staff/Responsibilities
Eric Zarnikow is Executive Director of the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC), a state agency providing information and assistance to help make education beyond high school accessible and affordable for Illinois families. ISAC provides comprehensive, objective, and timely information on education and financial aid for students and their families—giving them access to the tools they need to make the educational choices that are right for them. Then, through the state scholarship and grant programs ISAC administers, including the state’s flagship Monetary Award Program, ISAC can help students make those choices a reality.
Eric is a former Associate Administrator at the U.S. Small Business Administration, where he led the Office of Capital Access, responsible for all the agency’s programs and operations concerning financial assistance to small businesses, 800 employees and a $90 billion loan and investment portfolio. Prior to his work with the SBA, Eric spent over 25 years in the private sector, including serving as Senior Vice President, Chief Risk Officer and Treasurer at ServiceMaster. Eric serves on several commissions and is currently a trustee of The College Board, serving on its Executive, Investment and Finance Committees and as chair of its Audit Committee. A certified public accountant, Eric received his bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University and MBA from Drake University.
Director, Human Resources and Development
Managing Director, Communications
Managing Director, Capacity Development
Managing Director, Program Services & Compliance
Chief Internal Auditor
Director, Government Relations
Managing Director, College Access Initiatives
Chief Financial Officer
Interim General Counsel
Managing Director, Information Technology
Managing Director, Research, Planning & Policy Analysis