The incoming mayor of Chicago, Eric Johnson, has announced the appointment of Kenya K. Merritt as Vice Mayor for Business and Neighborhood Development. Merritt will work in collaboration with Sameer Maekar, who held similar responsibilities in Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s administration.
In addition to this appointment, Johnson also introduced the position of deputy mayor for corporate development, which will concentrate on a range of economic initiatives. The role includes corporate expansion and recruitment, significant cultural events, and extensive development projects.
The press release stated that if the candidate is selected for the role, the two deputy mayors will collaborate to encourage economic growth and opportunities in Chicago. Merritt brings her experience as a public service executive and her background as program director for the Pritzker Traubert Foundation to her new position.
Merritt served in various capacities in the city’s government, including as the First Deputy Director of the Department of Business and Consumer Protection. Additionally, she was the Chief Financial Officer and Interim Chief Operating Officer of the Department of Cultural and Special Events.
In his statement, Johnson expressed his pride in appointing Merritt and his excitement about her role as Vice Mayor for Business and Neighborhood Development. He emphasized the need to strengthen and expand the Chicago economy with a focus on economic equity and growth. Merritt will work closely with the Deputy Mayor for Business Development to achieve this goal.