Alaina Harkness

Managing Director
RW Ventures
Chicago, IL

Alaina Harkness is a community and economic development expert and consultant with special interests in inclusive growth and governance. She is a nonresident fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and a managing director with RW Ventures, an economic development consultancy. She has published research and commentary for the Brookings Institution, the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank, and CityLab. Harkness served as senior program officer for Cities at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and program officer for two civic funds of the Chicago Community Trust: the Partnership for New Communities and the 2016 Fund for Chicago Neighborhoods. She lives in Chicago and serves on the boards of the CityTech Collaborative, Global Parliament of Mayors, Urban Initiatives, and Margaret’s Village. Harkness holds masters degrees in public policy and Latin American studies from the University of Chicago and a bachelors degree from the University of Rochester. She is a fellow of Leadership Greater Chicago.