Navigating the Future: Civic Leaders and the AI Landscape - City Club of Chicago

Navigating the Future: Civic Leaders and the AI Landscape

moderated by Sylvia Ewing (Elevate)
Panelists: Jhmira Alexander (Public Narrative), Marianne McMullen (Chapin Hall) and Jon Powell (Salesforce)

Tuesday, Feb 6, 2024

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Jhmira Alexander

Jhmira Alexander, MPA is a resourceful media engagement strategist and social impact leader whose expertise includes change management and nonprofit leadership. Jhmira is a trained journalist who utilizes over 17 years of experience cultivating diverse stakeholder groups to establish and ensure the success of cross functional teams.

Entrepreneur turned intrapreneur, Jhmira is the president and executive director of Public Narrative – Chicago’s premier cultivator of narrative change and supporter of community oriented journalism for nearly 35 years. She serves on the advisory committee for YR Media – a leading media, technology and music training center and platform for emerging BIPOC content creators who are using their voices to change the world. Jhmira is also on the advisory committee for Forefront’s Mission Sustainability Initiative.

Jhmira has led projects for the Chicago Police Department, the Obama Foundation’s My Brother’s Keeper Alliance (Chicago), Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and Medill School of Journalism, Media & Integrated Marketing Communications. She is the host of “The Public Narrative: A Word with Jhmira Alexander” on Chicago Access Network aptly known as CAN TV.

Jhmira has spoken on various topics affecting health, safety and education on platforms held by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Management Information Exchange, Council of the Great City Schools and the Association for Clinical Translational Science. Jhmira holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Broadcast Communications from Bradley University and Master of Public Administration degree from Strayer University

Marrianne McMullen

Marrianne McMullen is the Director of Communication at Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago. She served six years in the Obama Administration as a presidential appointee in the Dept. of Health and Human Services, where she led communications efforts to increase health insurance enrollment and managed public affairs response to unaccompanied children crossing the U.S. southern border. Previously, Marrianne worked as a labor union communicator for Service Employees International Union and AFSCME Council 31, was a co-publisher and editor of an alternative weekly, The Dayton Voice, and was a reporter for several publications. She holds a bachelor’s in journalism and a master’s degree in communication.

Jon Powell

Jon Powell is an entrepreneur, technologist, academic, and chemical/environmental engineer by training and is Global Head of the Sustainability Practice at Salesforce. At Salesforce, Jon supports hundreds of the world’s largest forward-thinking corporations by accelerating their ESG and Sustainability strategies and actions through direct, catalytic advisory engagements. Additionally, Jon is leading multiple internal and external initiatives to unlock responsible and trusted uses of AI to advance sustainable outcomes. Prior to Salesforce, Jon led investment funds at Closed Loop Partners, an impact investment firm driving a transition to a more circular economy. Jon has also led and founded multiple startups spanning EdTech and environmental services. He earned his doctorate from Yale University and his Bachelors and Masters degrees from University of Florida and is based in Chicago.

Sylvia Ewing

Sylvia Ewing is the Principal Director of Strategic Partnerships and Communications with Elevate, a nonprofit focused on climate equity. Sylvia leads a team of innovative communicators enhancing internal and external communications for good at and collaborates on behalf of Elevate with various coalitions, nonprofits, foundations, governments, and global organizations.

Her executive experience includes strategy, leadership development, fundraising, narrative change, financial inclusion, media training, and special events. Sylvia is also a certified meditation teacher, poet, and public television spokesperson who brings community-building, appreciative inquiry, and restorative practices into her work.

Sylvia is the Immediate Past Board Chair of Kartemquin Films, on the Board of Illinois Humanities and the Center for Performing Arts at Governor State University Advisory Board. She is an avid mentor and collaborator.

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