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avatar for Ayris T. Scales

Ayris T. Scales

Serve DC
Chief Service Officer
Ayris is a highly sought after policy leader and strategic initiatives activator with a knack for quickly assessing structural challenges and navigating organizations through periods of rapid change, re-alignment and operational expansion. She has spent the past 15 years designing and leading strategic initiatives, legislation and outreach to dismantle race, gender and socio-economic  barriers.  Her record of weaving public-private partnerships to increase social, political and financial capital for politicos and non-profits, has positioned her to raise nearly $50M and award over $100M in grants and subsidies for underinvested communities in numerous urban markets, including Atlanta, Chicago and DC.  
Currently, Ayris serves as the Chief Service Officer for the District of Columbia under Mayor Muriel Bowser. In this capacity, she leads the Mayor's Office on Volunteerism and Partnerships overseeing corporate, philanthropic and nonprofit partnerships, civic engagement and strategic volunteer initiatives. She is a member of the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers and on the Advisory Council for Wells Fargo’s Where We Live initiative. Additionally, Ayris is the chartering President of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc. Metropolitan Washington D.C. Chapter where she leads advocacy and programming initiatives to advance equitable outcomes for women and girls.  
Her previous roles include Vice President of Economic Growth and Jobs for World Business Chicago and Executive Director of the DC Promise Neighborhood Initiative.   She has been a featured speaker and panelist for a variety of influential organizations across the country, and in the United Kingdom. Most recently she delivered the keynote address for the U.S. Department of Justice's Annual Women's History Month celebration, focusing on implicit biases and policy creation. Last summer, she co-authored Making Freedom Ring For Black Women on Blackher.us.  Ayris' work has also been highlighted on ABC, NBC, Telemundo, Fast Company, Ebony Magazine, The Washington Post, Black Noire and more.
She attended Clark Atlanta University, Kent State University, and Baruch College where she was a National Urban Fellow.