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Southern Vermont Economy Summit:


May 12-14, 2021

Summit Schedule





The Future of Federal Rural Policy
Keynote Speaker:
Tony Pipa, 
Brookings Institution, Senior Fellow - Global Economy and Development, Center for Sustainable Development



Reframing Growth, Vetting our Values
Facilitated by Ted Brady of VLCT, highlighting what a  healthy economy looks like while keeping to our Vermont values. 



Small Scale Changes to Strengthen our Communities 
Facilitated by Danny Litchenfeld, Brattleboro Museum & Arts Center highlighting planning, arts and culture, diversity, and social capital. 





New to Vermont Lunch Series
Applying an Equity Lens to Vermont: Structural Solutions for Structural Problems
Xusana Davis, Executive Director of Racial Equity,
State of Vermont 
Community as Corporation: Talent-Retention in Low Status America
Keynote Speaker:
Majora Carter,
Social-Enterprise Pioneer, Majora Carter Group

Featured Speaker Information 

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Sponsored By People's United Bank and the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development

About Tony Pipa

Tony Pipa is a senior fellow in the Center for Sustainable Development, housed in the Global Economy and Development program at Brookings. He studies place-based policies to improve social progress in the United States and globally, including through use of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the local level. He is also considering the future of U.S. multilateral aid and the applicability of lessons from international development to improving rural development in the U.S.


Tony has over 25 years of executive experience in the philanthropic and public sectors addressing poverty and advancing inclusive economic development. During the Obama administration, he served as chief strategy officer at the U.S. Agency for International Development and held multiple senior policy positions at the Agency. He served as U.S. special coordinator for the Post-2015 Agenda at the Department of State, leading the U.S. delegation at the U.N. to negotiate and adopt the SDGs. Prior to his government service, he directed the NGO Leaders Forum at Harvard University and was the founding CEO of the Warner Foundation, a family foundation in North Carolina focused on improving economic opportunity and race relations. He helped launch Foundation for Louisiana in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and has played a principal role in the start-up of several philanthropic ventures focused on addressing poverty and improving distressed communities.

Recent Brookings Institute Report by Tony Pipa: Reimagining rural policy: Organizing federal assistance to maximize rural prosperity

Tony Pipa
Senior Fellow - Global Economy and Development, Center for Sustainable Development, Brookings Institution

About Governor Phil Scott

Governor Phil Scott became the 82nd Governor of Vermont on January 5, 2017. He previously served three terms as Vermont’s Lieutenant Governor, and as a Senator for Washington County. As Governor, he has committed to making a difference in the lives of Vermonters by growing the state’s economy, making Vermont more affordable, protecting the most vulnerable and restoring faith and trust in government.

About Lt. Governor Molly Gray

On January 7th, 2021 Lieutenant Governor Molly Gray was sworn in as Vermont’s 82nd Lieutenant Governor. Molly has lived and worked in communities across Vermont, worked in the halls of Congress, and around the globe in humanitarian response and human rights. Rooted in rural Vermont with a career spent bringing people together to get things done, Molly is an unfaltering voice for the needs of Vermonters.

Governor Phil Scott        Lt. Governor Molly Gray
Governor of Vermont                    Lt. Governor of Vermont
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Xusana Davis
Executive Director of Racial Equity, State of Vermont

Session: Applying an Equity Lens to Vermont: Structural Solutions for Structural Problems

About Xusana Davis

Xusana Davis serves as the State of Vermont’s Executive Director of Racial Equity. She was appointed to the position in June 2019 by Governor Phil Scott.

In her role, Xusana works with state agencies to identify and address systemic racial disparities and support the state’s efforts to expand & diversify Vermont’s population. She relies on data to inform this work, and on the State Strategic Plan to guide it. Learn more about the duties of the Executive Director of Racial Equity here.

Prior to joining the State of Vermont, she served as Director of Health & Housing Strategic Initiatives at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and as the Director of the Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus of the New York City Council.

She holds a Juris Doctor with a concentration in International Human Rights Law from New York Law School, where she also directed a civil liberties education program for low-income and minority youth. She studied Anthropology and Philosophy at Fordham University, earning the Rev. J. Franklin Ewing, S.J. Award for writing on the relationship between global human rights violations and the proliferation of HIV/AIDS.

Xusana is a first-generation U.S.-born Latina and has always been passionate about promoting open access to government for all people, regardless of their background or place of origin. She is fluent in Spanish, and her name is pronounced like the phrase “Seuss on a”.

Majora Carter
Social-Enterprise Pioneer, Majora Carter Group

Sponsored by MSK Engineering, Stevens & Associates, and M&S Development

About Majora Carter

Majora Carter, a real estate developer, urban revitalization strategy consultant, MacArthur Fellow and Peabody Award winning broadcaster, will close out the Summit, speaking Friday May 14th at 2pm. She is responsible for the creation and successful implementation of numerous economic developments, technology & green-infrastructure projects, policies and job training & placement systems.


Carter applies her corporate consulting practice focused on talent-retention to reducing Brain Drain in American low-status communities.  She has firsthand experience pioneering sustainable economic development in one of America's most storied low-status communities: the South Bronx. She and her teams develop vision, strategies and the type of development that transforms low-status communities into thriving mixed-use local economies. Her approach harnesses capital flows resulting from American re-urbanization to help increase wealth building opportunities across demographics left out of all historic financial tide changes. Majora's work produces long term fiscal benefits for governments, residents, and private real estate developments throughout North America.  Majora is quoted on the walls of the Smithsonian Museum of African-American History and Culture in DC: "Nobody should have to move out of their neighborhood to live in a better one”.

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Summit Hosts

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