U.S. Equity and Economic Opportunity Initiative/

Otis Rolley

Senior Vice President, U.S. Equity and Economic Opportunity Initiative, The Rockefeller Foundation

Otis Rolley joined The Rockefeller Foundation in 2019. Immediately prior to joining the Foundation, Otis served as a North America Managing Director for 100 Resilient Cities, an initiative of the Foundation. There he provided urban resilience technical assistance and portfolio management for 29 cities throughout the U.S. and Canada. Prior to his work at 100RC, Otis served as CEO of Newark, New Jersey’s economic development corporation.

A true urbanist, Otis’s career has been dedicated toward advancing economic and community development in cities, leading organizations in the for-profit and non-profit private sectors. His 20 years of experience also includes serving in various leadership positions in the public sector. He has held cabinet roles with 5 different mayors in three large U.S. cities. He has been a chief of staff managing a $2 billion budget; city planning director for America’s largest independent city; and he has served as the first deputy housing commissioner for the 5th largest public housing and community development agency in the U.S.

Otis has a Masters in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and graduated with honors with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rutgers University.

Authored Content

  • Apr 13 2021
    Blog Post Equitable Vaccine Distribution: A Sprint and A Marathon in One As any casual weekend jogger knows, sprinting while simultaneously running a marathon presents a challenge. A different pace, set of skills and mindset are required for a short, fast dash as compared with a longer haul. But in The Rockefeller Foundation’s work to contribute to equitable vaccine distribution in the U.S., that is exactly the […] Otis Rolley
  • Jan 15 2021
    Blog Post Martin Luther King, Jr. and His Push for Economic Justice   Sometimes there comes a radical prophet, a woman or a man with a voice that rings with vibrancy and wisdom through the decades, braiding itself into our national dialogue even as years pass and the scenery changes. Martin Luther King Jr., assassinated just months shy of his 40th birthday, possessed such a voice. Though […] Otis Rolley
  • Dec 14 2020
    EEO Lifting Black-Owned Small Businesses Devastated by Covid-19 The Rockefeller Foundation joins with Walter Payton Man of the Year Calais Campbell in supporting the CLLCTIVLY Covid-19 Baltimore Micro-Grant Fund, a campaign that provides financial assistance and strategic advising to Black-owned businesses in Baltimore impacted by Covid-19.
  • Oct 22 2020
    Blog Post Racial Hierarchy is the Biggest Threat to America Sometimes overlooked in the national hue and cry over “law and order” is that, in fact, we all want law. We all want order. The cry for law and order is not about violations of the law, but rather, about threats to a certain kind of “order” – the order of racial hierarchy in America. […] Otis Rolley
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