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Michael Banks

Executive Director, The Promise

"I believe in telling the whole story of those who are marginalized. I chose to come to United Way because I believe in the mission and want to be a part of the solution, not just talk about the problems. This role is important because it creates both social and economic solutions."

Michael serves as Executive Director of The Promise and is best described as our Opportunity Expert. In his role, Michael oversees strategic, fundraising and operational activities in support of The Promise's mission of reducing poverty in Philadelphia. 

Serving as an advisor for United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey (UWGPSNJ) career pathways pillar, Michael provides council and insight to the team to advance equitable access for career opportunities in our region’s job and labor markets.

Prior to joining UWGPSNJ, Michael was the President & CEO of the African American Chamber of Commerce of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, a financial controller for a Philadelphia startup and Vice President for Citibank in their Derivatives Markets division. Michael’s experience allows our team to develop UWGPSNJ initiatives that support underrepresented entrepreneurs and business leaders, employ individuals in low-income communities, and train individuals experiencing high barriers to the workforce.

Michael holds a bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies from Pennsylvania University. He has served on the board of the African American Chamber of Commerce of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, PHL Diversity, Mann Center for Performing Arts, Clarifi, UWGPSNJ, the Community College of Philadelphia Foundation, The Merchant Fund, and on the Red Cross Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

When not working, Michael stays active with his children, instructing indoor cycling classes, and traveling. He is an avid reader, motivational coach, and the defending BBQ champ in his family.

Thought Leadership

  • University of Pennsylvania Wharton HEMM Conference: Keynote Speaker
  • Starbucks: Keynote Speaker
  • Philadelphia Sixers: Keynote Speaker

Awards & Certifications   

  • LEADERSHIP Philadelphia: Fellow
  • Philadelphia Tribune: Most Influential 10 under 40
  • Philadelphia Business Journal: Most Talented Leaders 40 Under 40
  • Philadelphia Business Journal: Top 100 Influential Leaders in the Region
  • Philadelphia 76ers Game Changer Award
  • Community College of Philadelphia Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Pennsylvania Care Associates Community Economic Impact Award

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