Alicia Wilson, Johns Hopkins’ first vice president for economic development and community relations, will leave at the end of the year to become JPMorgan Chase’s Global Head of Philanthropy for the North American Region.
Her ambition, inventiveness, intelligence, and profound enthusiasm and love for Baltimore all contributed to using Johns Hopkins’ resources and experience to serve the city, communities, and neighbors.
Wilson has led existing economic development initiatives to new heights with a combination of strategic acumen and contagious enthusiasm since joining Johns Hopkins in this new enterprise-wide role in 2019, while also nimbly identifying new opportunities to deepen and enhance Johns Hopkins’ partnerships and collaborations in Baltimore City and beyond.
Under Wilson’s direction, HopkinsLocal not only accomplished ever-increasing spending, hiring, and contracting targets in the Baltimore community, but also expanded the institution’s attempts to diversify Hopkins’ investment managers. Through the College Access Initiative, as well as support for small companies and expungement clinics for justice-involved individuals, she and her team have sought to open doors to jobs around Baltimore.
Wilson’s team’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic exemplifies the humanity and tenacity she brings to all of her work. She will chair Johns Hopkins’ COVID-19 Anchor Strategy Workgroup, a cross-institutional collaboration between Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Health System, beginning in spring 2020.
The Workgroup assisted in steering the institution’s response to local needs and supported a number of activities, such as conducting town hall meetings, to share information with local grassroots organizations, families, and civic leaders. Through the East Baltimore Food Access Initiative, they provided accurate, timely information about public health best practices; briefed medical practitioners, elected officials, and leaders of small and large businesses; and distributed boxes of fresh groceries to approximately 7,000 Baltimore residents per week—more than 6 million meals in total.
Wilson also helped to launch and lead HEAT Corps (Health Education and Training), which helped to bring Hopkins’ public health messaging about COVID-19 to a global audience by providing education and training to 10,000 youths in 18 states and six countries.
Wilson, a proud Baltimore native and graduate of the University of Maryland Baltimore County and the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, has always relied on her extensive network of local and statewide contacts and made it a priority to cultivate and support local talent in her office and throughout the institution.