On April 27, my guest will be Jessica Walker, the President of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce. She is a public policy expert who has advocated on behalf of New York City residents, neighborhoods and businesses for more than 15 years -- with successes in every role taken on. Her work has left an indelible imprint on the city that she loves.
Before joining the Chamber in 2016 she served as Vice President for Government Affairs at the Partnership for New York City, which represents the city’s major corporate employers. Jessica served as the chief liaison between elected officials and the city’s business leaders and as a policy analyst/advisor/writer for the organization's influential CEO. The objective was to advance pro-growth policies and forge public-private partnerships that strengthen New York City’s economy and create jobs. Prior to that, Jessica was a leading advocate for elderly New Yorkers.
At the New York Academy of Medicine she oversaw the launch of Age-friendly New York City, a public-private initiative designed to make the city a better place in which to grow old. Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg implemented 59 policy improvements based on this work such as lengthening the time allotted for pedestrians to cross street intersections.
Jessica also served as a policy expert at United Neighborhood Houses of New York, an association of settlement houses and community centers throughout the five boroughs. There, she led the organization's research, advocacy and policy work on issues relating to older adults and their social service needs.
She also led a successful pilot initiative to increase utilization of geriatric mental health services and authored an influential report that dramatically heightened the city’s response to the high numbers of New York seniors aging alone and “at risk” of becoming socially isolated.