Courtney Sharpe is the Director of Cultural Planning for the city of Boston where she works with local residents, artists, and city officials to develop equitable policies and strategies to advance opportunities for the creative communities. Courtney believes that securing and maintaining opportunities for cultural expression to thrive is key to a city’s vitality and long-term economic viability.
Informed by the desire to advocate for society’s most vulnerable, Courtney has had a career dedicated to public service. After undergrad she served in both Peace Corps and AmeriCorps, first as a youth development volunteer in Morocco then in Chicago promoting inroads to civic engagement for new Americans with the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, before working for U.S. General Services Administration.
While in graduate school, Courtney received a fellowship from the Harvard Kennedy School Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation that enabled her to spend a summer in the Mayor’s Office in Philadelphia working to increase outreach and promote the longevity of the My Brother’s Keeper program across a change in administrations. Courtney also co-chaired the inaugural Black in Design Conference, which provided a venue for nationwide community building among design professionals at all levels and to celebrate stories too seldom shared from the mainstage.
Courtney holds a Master in Urban Planning with a specialization in Urban Governance and Social Justice from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and a BA from Northwestern University where she double majored in International Studies and Religion and minored in Asian American Studies.