Newark-based Audible, the world’s largest producer and provider of original spoken-word entertainment and audiobooks, announced the creation of the Global Center for Urban Development, which will expand the company’s community and economic initiatives while launching new and measurable models focused on advancing equality, racial justice and economic empowerment. While based in and focused on Audible’s corporate hometown of Newark, the Center’s mission will encompass Audible locations in 14 cities around the world and include programs and policy initiatives that can be adopted in cities globally.
Aisha Glover, currently CEO of the Newark Alliance, will step down from that role to join Audible as vice president of Urban Innovation, reporting to Abhinav Mathur, senior vice president, Center for Urban Development. In her role, Glover will help establish the strategic direction of the Global Center for Urban Development and will lead a team dedicated to advancing equitable economic development solutions in cities worldwide.
The new Center for Urban Development will report into Audible Founder and Executive Chairman, Don Katz. “At a time of unprecedented crisis, Newark’s historic comeback is dependent on continued support from companies, philanthropies and governments working together. We believe all members of society – with strong companies like Audible and other scaled corporations leading the way – must commit to meaningful support for innovation and investment, focused on civic and social change that addresses the underlying causes of structural inequality,” Katz said. “With the Global Center for Urban Development, Audible aims to draw upon global best practices, cutting-edge analysis and elite talent to amplify its impact in Newark and beyond by establishing new paradigms that advance equitable development in cities everywhere. The Center has been specifically designed to partner more deeply with government, community organizations and corporate partners to coalesce around new and legacy programs that work at scale.”
A seasoned economic impact executive, Aisha Glover has a proven track record of spearheading equitable economic development programs throughout the region. She has more than 15 years of experience as an agent for economic empowerment and social justice. At the Newark Alliance, she worked closely with Mayor Ras Baraka to push for inclusive economic growth, helping to align dozens of corporations and private institutions with Newark’s needs, attracting billions of dollars in real estate development, and advancing citywide economic empowerment initiatives, including workforce training and women entrepreneurship programs.
“Aisha Glover’s commitment to and success in improving the lives of the people of Newark makes her uniquely suited to help carry out the vision of our Global Center for Urban Development,” continued Katz. “Aisha’s experience bringing together public, private and community-based organizations to create and sustain equitable economic development will be critical as we double down on our efforts on behalf of the city we call home, and other communities in which Audible operates. Aisha’s leadership of this new Global Center, along with Abhinav Mathur – a truly visionary executive who has led some of our most important efforts to be an inventive company that pursues meaning and purpose – is very exciting indeed.”
“I commend Audible for embracing its role in Newark, advancing its economic and social impact and investing in and launching initiatives that are aligned with my vision for an inclusive and equitable city,” said Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka. “Aisha is the perfect leader to continue this work from within Audible on behalf of the City’s residents and small businesses. We need all corporations to take an active role in helping to accelerate our recovery.”
“We are at a critical juncture in Newark and in many cities around the world. We’ve seen how corporations are beginning to step in to fill the gaps to help drive equity, and with Audible’s leadership and backing, the Global Center for Urban Development will be at the forefront to create a new type of urbanism,” Glover said. “My commitment to developing deep community, corporate and government partnerships have generated strong results for Newark, and I am energized to bring similar innovative and inclusive solutions to bear in Newark that not only help the city recover, but ensure that it thrives.”
Under Glover’s leadership, the Alliance and its corporate and institutional membership base has advanced a Hire Buy Live initiative, helping over 2,020 Newarkers secure employment within these institutions, increased local procurement spend with small businesses, and expanded opportunities for homeownership and relocation into the city. Prior to leading the Newark Alliance, Glover served as the President & CEO of the Newark Community Economic Development Corporation, where she oversaw efforts to attract real estate development, businesses and more than $3B in development funds to Newark, leading the city to be shortlisted for Amazon’s second headquarters. Glover also served as the Vice President of External Affairs at the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, where she led strategic partnership development, community engagement, public affairs and fundraising to help establish Navy Yard as a global model for urban industrial development.
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