The Manhattan Chamber of Commerce announced Tuesday, February 2nd, that it has hired Jessica Walker as president of the nonprofit, effective February 22nd. She will replace Nancy Ploeger, who left the organization to lead a global women’s business foundation.
Since 2012, Walker has held the position of vice president of government affairs at the Partnership for New York City. While at the business advocacy nonprofit, Walker pushed for the Stop Credit Discrimination in Employment Act, which would ban using credit checks during the hiring process. Her efforts propelled the City Council to pass the bill in April 2015, opening doors for qualified New Yorkers whose credit hindered their employment opportunities.
“New York is a difficult place to start and grow a business,” said Walker. “I want to help businesses deal with the city’s complex regulatory structure and make it easier for entrepreneurs to thrive. Advocacy is about education.”
Prior to joining the Partnership for New York City, Walker was a board member of the New York Citizens’ Committee on Aging and a policy associate at the New York Academy of Medicine. In 2009, she launched Age-friendly New York City, an initiative to improve living conditions for 1.4 million New Yorkers over 60 years old.
Walker started her 15-year career at United Neighborhood Houses of New York as a policy analyst. She hails from New Mexico and has lived in the city for more than a decade.