Amalia S. Rioja

Baker & McKenzie LLP


Amalia Rioja is a member of the Banking & Finance and International/Commercial practice groups. With more than 20 years of public sector and private practice experience, Amalia is a resource to clients at all levels of local, state or federal government. During her tenure as deputy chief of staff to Governor Quinn, Amalia supervised the state of Illinois' relationship with its private lottery manager. She led negotiations of several gaming expansion bills and oversaw the operations of several state departments, including the Department of Revenue, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, and the Illinois Liquor Control Commission. In prior governmental roles, Amalia served as acting public access counselor to Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Deputy General Counsel to Illinois Comptroller Dan Hynes.

Practice Focus

Amalia advises clients involved in competitive bidding processes and acts as an adviser for their public policy initiatives. She represents governmental entities and private counterparties in connection with government efficiency projects, including private services contracts and public private partnerships for social, technology and transportation infrastructure.

Amalia also advises clients engaged in global business in a wide range of industries including food and beverage, agriculture, airlines, pharmacy retail and construction. Amalia works on a multidisciplinary team to help clients prepare for the potential opening of the Cuban market, and assists North American clients in accessing Latin American markets as well as multinational companies doing business in the US.

Professional Honors

  • Excellence in Legal Service, MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund)
  • Recipient, Common Cause Illinois's Champion of Democracy Award, for work on election law reform and voter rights

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Illinois Women's Institute for Leadership - Member
  • University of Illinois's Institute of Government and Public Affairs Illinois - Member
  • Barack Obama for the Democratic National Convention - Elected Delegate
  • Gore for the Democratic National Convention - Elected Delegate
  • National Immigrant Justice Center's Leadership Council - Founding Member
  • Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, Public Policy Committee - Member
  • The Arthur Foundation - Board Member

Corporate Responsibility

  • Recipient, Common Cause Illinois's Champion of Democracy Award, for work on election law reform and voter rights


  • Illinois~United States (1993)


  • Northwestern University (J.D.) (1993)
  • Northwestern University (B.S. cum laude) (1990)


  • English
  • Spanish