Global Detroit Managing Director Positions Organization for Growth and National Leadership

December 14, 2022
Contact: Sofia Kuczer, Global Detroit 

New hire signals both deeper investment in Detroit and expansion statewide. New national center for immigrant inclusive economic development planned.

Detroit, Michigan – Global Detroit announced the hiring of Dr. Alaina Jackson, a Detroit native and graduate of Cass Technical High School, as its first Managing Director. Dr. Jackson, a former Director of Community Experience and Research at Ford Motor Company and Adjunct Professor at Wayne State University’s Urban Studies and Planning program, as well as former Program Director of Workforce and Talent Initiatives at the United Way of Southeastern Michigan, brings a vast amount of private sector and nonprofit leadership experiences to the position, in addition to her academic knowledge as a Ph.D. in Policy, Planning and Development from the University of Southern California. 

“I am truly excited for this opportunity and eager to have an impact here at home in Detroit,” states Dr. Jackson, who spent over a decade working as a corporate executive in eight different companies. “Global Detroit marries my personal experiences as an immigrant in other countries, my intimate knowledge of my husband’s immigrant journey to the U.S. and my deep passion for Detroit, its neighborhoods and its people. Global Detroit is the rare organization that is eager to engage residents to find out what issues they want or need to be addressed and then designs programs to impact those issues and produce results.” Dr. Jackson also cited the organization’s efforts to “move beyond programmatic work to identify public policies and systemic changes to scale impact, create sustainable change and build a more inclusive economy.” 

The creation of a Managing Director position comes at a pivotal time in Global Detroit’s evolution. Global Detroit is expanding global talent attraction and retention programs statewide in an effort to upskill the talent of Michigan’s workforce. The organization is planning to launch a new national center on immigrant economic development in 2023. 

“As Global Detroit expands our global talent programs statewide and our Executive Director Steve Tobocman is working to launch a new national center on immigrant economic development at Global Detroit, we couldn’t be more excited to have someone of Dr. Alaina Jackson’s skills and talents to help lead our local programming and expand on the foundation of impactful work Global Detroit has had in Southeast Michigan,” notes Global Detroit Board Chair Karen Phillippi. Dr. Jackson was selected through a competitive national search process facilitated by a national talent search firm specializing in nonprofit sector executive positions.

Global Detroit’s Executive Director Steve Tobocman will continue to lead the organization in full partnership with Dr. Jackson. The creation of the Managing Director position signals that Global Detroit is not dropping its local work connecting residents and business owners in immigrant neighborhoods with homeownership and home repair programs, small business support, community engagement opportunities and other resources they need to put down roots and thrive. In fact, the addition of a leader of Dr. Jackson’s talents will enable Global Detroit to expand these programs, continue its tradition of groundbreaking research and deepen its efforts to address issues of diversity, equity and inclusion. 

“I am so excited for Global Detroit’s future and feel that I have found a partner, in Alaina, who shares so many of our values and DNA,” adds Global Detroit Executive Director Steve Tobocman. “The tremendous caliber of talent we saw during our search process underscored the high esteem in which Global Detroit is viewed locally and nationally and Dr. Jackson was a consensus choice among, staff, board and executive leadership. We couldn’t be more fortunate.” 


With a focus on immigrants and global talent, Global Detroit develops and implements inclusive strategies to drive the growth, revitalization and broadly shared prosperity of Detroit and Southeast Michigan. By ensuring immigrants are a vital part of the region’s community and economic development strategies, Global Detroit is building a vibrant city and thriving global region with strong neighborhoods, healthy families, competitive companies, successful small businesses, and a rich and diverse cultural life. 

Founded in 2010, Global Detroit develops and leads programs centered on global talent, entrepreneurship, and neighborhoods with the aim of demonstrating the potential for large-scale impact. Global Detroit also continues to conduct groundbreaking research, drives policy, and serves as a leading advocate for immigrant inclusion as a strategy to build prosperity for everyone in Southeast Michigan.