Ryun Jackson was appointed Assistant to Mayor Jim Strickland in March 2016 and he has spent the first term of his tenure aiding the mayor in all aspects of day-to-day operations, special projects, government affairs, and leading public–private partnership initiatives. One of the key highlights of his tenure in the Strickland administration came during his second year when he led President Barack Obama’s initiative “My Brother’s Keeper Alliance Boys and Young Men of Color Pathways to Success: Opportunity Summit” in Memphis on June 22, 2017. The opportunity summit was held at the Memphis Cook Convention Center and was attended by more than 1,000 young people and over 500 participants were hired on the spot or had a second interview. The opportunity summit was held in just four cities: Detroit, MI, Oakland, CA, Memphis, TN, and Newark, NJ. Shortly after the summit, it was announced that Memphis hosted the most successful summit of all participating cities. This was a key indication that Memphis is an opportunity city and because of that, it helped to spark the mayor’s Opportunity Memphis initiative. Furthermore, it proved that dynamic results can be produced for the citizens of Memphis when the local government, the business community, the non-profit community, and other entities unite around a common cause.
Prior to joining the Strickland administration, Ryun lived in Washington, D.C. where he served in the Obama administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce and was a Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) Emerging Leader. Ryun was born and raised in Memphis, TN, and is a proud graduate of The University of Memphis.