Manhattan Chamber of Commerce
President and CEO
Jessica Walker is President and CEO of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, a powerful community of business leaders and entrepreneurs who help one another succeed -- thereby driving broad economic growth thoughout the region.
She is a public policy expert who has advocated on behalf of New York City residents, neighborhoods and businesses for more than 15 years. Her work has made an indelible imprint on the city that she loves. In 2016 she was included on City & State's "Manhattan Power 50" list, which ranks the most powerful community leaders in the borough.
Before joining the Chamber, Jessica was Vice President for Government Affairs at the Partnership for New York City, an organization that represents the city’s major corporate employers. She 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 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 analyst at United Neighborhood Houses, the association of community centers and settlement houses throughout NYC. There, she led the organization's advocacy agenda on issues relating to older adults. Jessica was chief architect of a pilot program that dramatically increased utilization of geriatric mental health services in the community and she also authored a groundbreaking study that exposed the high numbers of New York seniors aging alone and "at risk" of a host of serious problems. Subsequently the issue of social isolation became a top priority of the AARP Foundation.
Jessica was born in Detroit, raised on the Navajo Indian reservation in New Mexico, attended Princeton University and is now a proud resident of Harlem.