Andrea Kersten, Chief Administrator

Headshot of Andrea Kersten

Andrea Kersten currently leads the Civilian Office of Police Accountability as the Chief Administrator.  Kersten has been an integral part of COPA’s leadership team and a leading voice on the issue of civilian oversight in Chicago for the last five years.  Kersten began her work at COPA in the legal department serving as the Chief Investigative Law Officer.  From there Kersten assumed the role of Deputy Chief Administrator assigned to Investigations and ultimately went on to lead the entire investigative unit as the Chief of Investigative Operations. Kersten has been instrumental in the formation of COPA’s Special Victims Unit, a group of specialized investigators dedicated to victims of sexual assault, sexual abuse, or domestic violence. In response to widespread protests in 2020, Kersten was tapped to form COPA’s Protest/Civil Unrest Unit, a specialized squad uniquely organized to receive, review and triage mass protest-related complaints.

Kersten brings a career of public service experience to the agency, having previously served as a domestic violence advocate, an Assistant State’s Attorney in Cook County, and an Administrative Law Judge for the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services.  Kersten also serves on the board of The Tripp Healy Foundation which supports student athletes in the greater Chicagoland area.  Kersten received her J.D. from the John Marshall Law School and her B.A. in Sociology from North Park University.