Alicia Wilson, a dynamic, high-energy leader who has played a critical role in guiding Johns Hopkins' economic development initiatives to new heights while also deepening and enhancing the institution's community partnerships and collaborations in Baltimore and beyond over the past three and a half years, will leave Johns Hopkins at the end of the year to become managing director of JPMorgan Chase's North American regional philanthropy team.
In her new Washington, D.C.-based role, Wilson will oversee Chase's local philanthropic strategies across more than 40 markets in North America.
News of her departure was shared with Hopkins leadership Tuesday in a message from JHU President Ron Daniels and Kevin Sowers, president of the Johns Hopkins Health System and executive vice president of Johns Hopkins Medicine.
"We know she will make an indelible impact in her new role, but we will miss her drive, creativity, savvy, and deep passion and love for Baltimore, which helped leverage Johns Hopkins' resources and expertise to support our city, communities, and neighbors," Daniels and Sowers wrote.
Wilson, a proud Baltimore native, joined Johns Hopkins in July 2019 as the inaugural vice president for economic development, and her title evolved this past summer to vice president for economic development and community partnerships, reflecting the growing and expansive portfolio of Wilson and her team. Throughout her tenure, Wilson has drawn on her deep reservoir of local and statewide relationships and made it a priority to cultivate and support local talent, both within her office and across the institution.
"When I joined Johns Hopkins three and a half years ago, I could not have imagined how personally and professionally transformative this experience would be for me," Wilson said. "I was honored to be given the trust, support, and confidence of President Daniels and President Sowers to harness the brilliance, financial resources, and generosity of this institution to do good as we do well. I am forever grateful to have worked alongside some of the most committed, wise, and kind human beings in this world. It has been an honor to lead a team of leaders that work every day in the Office of Economic Development and Community Partnerships and who give of themselves to push forward some the most important work of this institution: to be both in and of Baltimore."
Wilson and her team oversee the highly successful HopkinsLocal program, which leverages Johns Hopkins' economic power to support local and minority-owned businesses, increase the hiring of city residents, and enhance economic growth, employment, and investment in Baltimore through targeted purchasing activities. Since the launch of HopkinsLocal in 2015, the university and health system have hired more than 3,000 Baltimoreans in targeted neighborhoods, hired 1,533 returning citizens, and spent more than $888 million at local businesses. In FY22 alone, Hopkins committed $144.6 million to minority-owned, women-owned, or disadvantaged businesses for design and construction projects based in Baltimore.
Wilson was instrumental in establishing the Just Us Dialogues, a racial justice conversation series created in response to the 2020 death of George Floyd. She also helped launch and lent her expertise as an attorney to a series of expungement clinics for members of the Baltimore community to remove past offenses from their criminal records, clearing pathways to jobs and other opportunities.
The response of Wilson and her to the COVID-19 pandemic "exemplifies the humanity and persistence Alicia brings to all her work," Daniels and Sowers wrote. Beginning in the spring of 2020, she convened Johns Hopkins' COVID-19 Anchor Strategy Workgroup, a partnership between the university and health system that helped marshal the institution's response to an array of pandemic-driven needs in Baltimore. This included sharing timely, accurate public health information and best practices with local grassroots organizations, families, and civic leaders; briefing medical practitioners, elected officials, and leaders of small and large businesses; and distributing boxes of fresh groceries to approximately 7,000 Baltimore residents per week—more than 6 million meals in all—through the East Baltimore Food Access Initiative. Wilson also helped to launch and lead HEAT Corps, which enabled Johns Hopkins' public health messaging about COVID-19 to reach a global audience by providing education and training to 10,000 youths in 18 states and six countries.
Wilson holds an undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Maryland Baltimore County and a law degree from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. Prior to joining Hopkins, she served as the senior vice president of impact investments and senior legal counsel for the Port Covington Development Team. Wilson also held a partnership position at the law firm of Gordon Feinblatt for eight years.
"Although we will be losing Alicia's daily leadership at Hopkins," Daniels and Sowers wrote, "we could not be more delighted for her—and for the organization who will benefit next from her vision and counsel. Please join us in congratulating Alicia as she takes this next step and continues her mission to make our world a better place."