Bonita Robertson-Hardy is a workforce and economic development professional committed to connecting the public sector, private sector, and nonprofit communities. Through her work, she builds relationships, utilizes her voice to influence policy, and advocates for equity and opportunity in public and private organizations. Since joining the Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group in 2021 and becoming the Co-Executive Director in 2022, Bonita has worked to highlight the importance of equitable rural prosperity by lifting up the diverse voices of rural practitioners and researchers.
Prior to joining the Aspen Institute, Bonita worked at the Greater New Orleans Foundation (GNOF), a community foundation serving 13 rural and urban parishes in southeast Louisiana. During her time at GNOF, she served as Director of Workforce Initiatives as well as Director of Civic Leadership. In these roles, she developed employer-led workforce partnerships to train jobseekers and incumbent workers, established an initiative to provide post-hire supportive services for employees at their worksites, led the strategic planning process for the equitable revitalization of an economic development zone within downtown New Orleans, and worked to support and catalyze progressive initiatives to promote growth and equity throughout the region. Bonita holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Healthcare Management from Howard University and a Juris Doctorate from Loyola University College of Law.
A native of New Orleans, Bonita, currently serves as a board member of Louise S. McGehee school, is a past fellow of the Association for Black Foundation Executives (ABFE) Connecting Leaders Fellowship Program, and previously served as a commissioner of the Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority. In her spare time, Bonita enjoys playing the ancient game of mahjong. She currently resides outside of Washington, DC, with her husband, Bradley, and their son Luke.