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Alicia Atkinson

Managing Director of Financial Empowerment

“Families enduring economic inequality are deeply resilient and creative at leveraging the small number of resources they have. We need to continue to support communities by providing more consistent access to financial resources so families can thrive.”

Alicia Atkinson serves as the Managing Director of Financial Empowerment at United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey (UWGPSNJ) and brings a deep commitment to centering community in decision-making to shift systems towards racial equity and economic justice. Alicia is responsible for aligning strategic direction to community needs and opportunities, cultivating partnerships, and integrating philanthropic investment to support families, communities, and financial security initiatives in the region.

In her prior leadership roles, she’s been responsible for research, policy development, and advocacy work centered on expanding financial security for low-income communities. Most recently, she was the Managing Director at The Prosperity Agenda, where she led new strategic initiatives and managed place-based projects rooted in the wisdom, experience, and expertise of families enduring economic inequality. She led the research, design, and evaluation of innovations, such as Money Mindset Cards, which honor lived and living experiences in financial conversations. Prior to that, she was a Policy Analyst with the Government Affairs team at Prosperity Now (formerly CFED), where she promoted effective policies and programs to expand savings, credit building, financial coaching, and integrated service delivery.

Alicia holds a Master’s in Public Policy from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Legal Studies from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She was a Graduate Research Assistant at the Institute for Economic and Racial Equity, working exclusively on the Leveraging Mobility Project. She also co-authored the report “Employment Capital: How Work Builds and Protects Family Wealth and Security,” which highlights the importance of quality work-based policies for low- and moderate-income workers in preserving and growing assets over time.

Out of the office, you can find Alicia cooking up new recipes or walking her dog Bebe around her neighborhood in West Philly!

Thought Leadership


Awards & Certifications   

  • 2013 Heller School for Social Policy Leadership Award
  • 2012 National Association for Social Insurance (NASI) Fellow