Ashleigh Gardere, Executive Vice President, guides the development and execution of programs to ensure that the 100 million people in America living in or near poverty — particularly those who face the burdens of structural racism — can participate in a just society, live in a healthy community of opportunity, and prosper in an equitable economy. Ashleigh manages programs and strategy to deliver a higher level of leadership and partnership across the broader equity ecosystem, activating common and uncommon partners to realize a shared national equity agenda. Formerly, she served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at the New Orleans Business Alliance, the city’s economic development agency. She previously led a citywide Economic Opportunity Strategy as a Senior Advisor to former mayor Mitch Landrieu. Ashleigh has been recognized by Living Cities as one of the nation’s “Top 25 Disruptive Leaders” working to close racial opportunity gaps. She is an expert in economic and workforce development, organizational leadership and culture change, and large-scale systems transformation. Ashleigh holds a bachelor’s degree in urban studies from New York University and a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.