Angela Blanchard, President and CEO of Neighborhood Centers Inc., is a globally recognized expert practitioner in community development, disaster recovery, and effective long-term integration for immigrants and refugees. Blanchard’s breakthrough strategies have successfully revitalized neighborhoods by leveraging Houston’s diversity, while providing a powerful model for cities across the globe facing the complex challenges of community transformation.

Under Blanchard’s leadership for more than 30 years, Neighborhood Centers Inc. became the largest community development organization in Texas and among the top 1% of charitable groups nationwide. It currently serves more than half-a-million people in 48 counties and operates with an annual budget of $250 million.

Blanchard’s genuine reverence for people and her unique ability to bring them together in unprecedented ways have played a pivotal role in the growth and impact of Neighborhood Centers Inc. Her innovative, strength-based framework—Appreciative Community Building—has set the new standard for integrating diverse populations into thriving communities. The success of her approach in the country’s fastest-growing, most ethnically diverse city positions Blanchard as a visionary leader for evolutionary change. She has been profiled in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Fast Company, Places Journal, CNN, NPR, Associated Press and Houston Chronicle, among many others. She was recently appointed as a Nonresident Senior Fellow in the Centennial Scholar Initiative at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.

Frequently sought out by international nonprofit organizations and government leaders, Blanchard provides context and clarity for those looking to bring about local and regional change. In that capacity, she has participated in a wide range of Strategy Sessions and Learning Exchanges. These include the World Inquiry Conference 2016 (Johannesburg, South Africa), The Executive Leadership Academy (Brisbane, Australia), Habitat for Humanity International (cities across the U.S.), Civic Leader & Nonprofit Collaborative (Portland, Oregon) and Health & Wellness Alliance for Children (Dallas, Texas).

Blanchard has remained consistently energized to tackle issues that matter most to local communities. She has been an active participant in the Greater Houston Partnership Board, Executive Women’s Partnership, UpSkill Houston, JP Morgan Chase National Community Advisory Board, Building Healthy Places Network National Advisory Council and the Texas Workforce Investment Council (appointed by then-Governor George W. Bush).

Throughout her career, Blanchard has received three invitations to the White House and been honored by Fast Company magazine, Leadership Houston, YMCA, The University of Houston, National Council of Jewish Women, Aramark, The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Houston Woman magazine, Harris County Housing Authority, India House, The Anti-Defamation League, IABC, Escape Family Resource Center, The Chinese Community Center, and the Harris County Women’s Political Caucus.

Watch Angela’s TED Talk.

Watch Angela’s speech at the Business Innovation Factory BIF.