LaChaun J. Banks is a seasoned professional in economic development, strategic planning, and merging private enterprise with government and academia for overall shared prosperity. She is currently the first ever director for equity and inclusion, a joint appointment between Harvard’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative. Her role with the Ash Center involves working on the practices, policies, and networks needed to diversify the community, inform the center’s organizational culture and resource allocation, and help move the Ash Center toward shared values, understanding, and language around diversity, equity, and inclusion in their work and in the center’s community.
LaChaun’s role with the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative manages the deployment and adoption of the newly launched City Leader Guide for Equitable Economic Development. The guide, which LaChaun co-authored, helps city leaders assess and better understand their current practices and state with respect to equitable development, and provides analytic tools to lead improvement by asking the right questions, looking at the right data, and considering promising practices in other cities.