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Chris Pilkerton
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Chris Pilkerton is a former Cabinet member and head of the US Small Business Administration (SBA), serving as Acting Administrator from 2019-2020. He was SBA General Counsel from 2017-2020. In these roles, he also advocated for advanced manufacturing ecosystems, as well as associated workforce development initiatives for urban and rural areas. In 2020, Pilkerton served as a White House Senior Policy Advisor and the Executive Director of the WH Opportunity Now initiative, a government-wide program to support economic empowerment for disadvantaged communities working directly with mayors and governors on local economic initiatives.  He has also been the Chief Legal and Regulatory Strategy Officer for Accion Opportunity Fund, the nation’s largest non-profit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) concentrating on small business support for the underserved, as well as an Executive-In-Residence at Johns Hopkins University’s Carey School of Business, a member of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s SBA Modernization Task Force, and has been involved in a number of economic development advisory roles, such as the Community Advisory Board of the American Fintech Council. Previously, Pilkerton was a compliance director at JP Morgan Chase, where he was named one of the “Heroes of the Fortune 500” by Fortune Magazine, in recognition of his efforts in support of orphans in Liberia impacted by ebola. He began his legal career as an Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan, and went on to become Senior Counsel at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. He was the Associate Director of the Law and Public Policy Program at the Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law (CUA) and a Fulbright Teaching Scholar in Poland. He holds a Masters in Public Administration from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, a JD from CUA, a BA from Fairfield University, and a certificate in data analytics from Cornell University’s College of Business. 

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