From Our Blog

Network Commons Speaker Bios May 6th

Our speakers for the May 6 Network Commons, Why Investing in Communities Matters More than Ever in the Time of Coronavirus.


Akilah Watkins-Butler, PhD, MA, MSc, is President and CEO for the Center for Community Progress, America’s non-profit leader for turning “Vacant Spaces into Vibrant Places.” 

A 25-year national thought leader, conference speaker, and non-profit executive, Dr. Watkins-Butler’s work began at the age of 14 when she led efforts to convert a vacant lot and abandoned home into a community center in Roosevelt, New York. Since then, she’s served as an executive leader for non-profits and community development initiatives which includes work with the Obama administration, NeighborWorks America, the Ford Foundation, and hundreds of municipalities throughout the U.S.

Today, Dr. Watkins-Butler’s work as an equity advocate includes leading work in more than 300 communities in 48 states at Community Progress. Collaboratively, Community Progress works to grow strong, equitable communities where vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties are transformed into assets for neighbors and neighborhoods.

Maurice Jones, JD, MPhil, is President and CEO of Local Initiatives Support Corporation. Immediately prior to joining LISC, he served as the secretary of commerce for the Commonwealth of Virginia, where he managed 13 state agencies focused on the economic needs in his native state. He previously served as deputy secretary for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) overseeing operations for the agency and its 8,900 staff members. Prior to that he was commissioner of Virginia’s Department of Social Services and deputy chief of staff to former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner. Trained as an attorney, Maurice worked during the Clinton Administration on legal, policy and program issues at the Treasury Department, where he also helped manage a then-new initiative called the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) fund. In the private sector, Maurice was the general manager of The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk and went on to become president and publisher of its parent company. He also worked for a Richmond law firm and a private philanthropy investing in community-based efforts to benefit children in Washington, D.C.

Jones was awarded a full merit scholarship to Hampden-Sydney College, a small liberal arts school. In 1986, he graduated Phi Beta Kappa and was selected as a Rhodes scholar. At Oxford University, he earned a master’s degree in international relations.  In 1992, he graduated from the University of Virginia Law School.

Mikelle Moore, MBA, MHSA, is Senior Vice President and Chief Community Health officer at Intermountain Health. She has been a part of Intermountain Healthcare’s leadership team for over 20 years. In April 2017, Mikelle joined the Executive Leadership Team and serves as Senior Vice President and Chief Community Health Officer. Mikelle is charged with leading system-wide prevention and community health improvement efforts in support of Intermountain’s mission of helping people live the healthiest lives possible. Prior to this role, Mikelle served as Vice President of Community Benefit. Mikelle also serves as President of the Intermountain Community Care Foundation. Mikelle is a certified Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives. She is active in numerous community organizations, and currently serves on the boards of Shelter the Homeless, United Way of Salt Lake, and Envision Utah. Mikelle also serves on the State of Utah’s Health Disparities Advisory Council and the Governor’s Youth Suicide Prevention Taskforce.

Mikelle earned her Master of Business Administration and Master of Health Services Administration degrees from Arizona State University and her Bachelor of Physiology degree from the University of Arizona.