President and CEO, Christel House International
Bart Peterson is President and CEO of Christel House International, an international network of primary and secondary schools serving children from predominantly disadvantaged backgrounds in India, South Africa, Mexico, Jamaica and the United States.
Peterson retired in 2017 as Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Communications for Eli Lilly and Company, where he also served as a member of the company’s executive committee. Prior to joining Lilly, Peterson was Managing Director at Strategic Capital Partners, LLC, from June 2008 to June 2009. Peterson received a bachelor’s degree from Purdue University in 1980 and earned his law degree at the University of Michigan Law School in 1983.
From 2000 to 2007, Peterson served two terms as Mayor of Indianapolis, the nation’s 12th largest city. He also served as President of the National League of Cities in 2007. As mayor, Peterson led a transformation of public education in Indianapolis as the only mayor in America with the authority to create new schools by issuing charters. He was responsible for 16 charter schools and won Harvard University’s prestigious Innovations in American Government Award for the initiative in 2006. As mayor, along with Indiana University, Purdue University, Lilly, and the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, he created BioCrossroads, a focused effort to push Indianapolis to the forefront as a life sciences capital. He was also instrumental in the business expansions of FedEx, Rolls Royce, and Anthem in Indianapolis, and the construction and development of major projects such as Lucas Oil Stadium, the Conrad Indianapolis, Simon Property Group’s world headquarters, Indianapolis International Airport’s Col. H. Weir Cook terminal building, and the Indiana Convention Center expansion and J.W. Marriott Hotel.