TRENTON >> Isles, a non-profit community development and environmental organization headquartered in Trenton, has announced that Sean Jackson has been selected to serve as its new Chief Executive Officer, effective Oct. 1.
Jackson will succeed President Marty Johnson, who founded Isles as part of a student-led initiative at Princeton University in 1981.
A long-term trustee of Isles, Jackson brings extensive experience in public policy, law, and real estate development. He previously served as state director for U.S. Senator Bob Torricelli before transitioning to the private sector as Senior Vice President of Rosemont Associates, a government relations consulting and real estate development firm. There, in addition to serving as a consultant for dozens of New Jersey firms, Jackson developed and managed more than 70,000-square-foot of commercial development, most of which is located in Trenton.
Jackson joined Isles’ Board of Trustees in 2013, later becoming its Real Estate Committee Chair. He also served as Chair of the Pipeline Committee, where he helped develop and evaluate Isles’ services.
In early 2019, Sean stepped off Isles’ Board of Trustees to manage the Social Profit Center at Mill One, a 75k sq ft conversion of a formerly vacant historic mill into office, studio, and flex space. The Social Profit Center will house charities (including Isles’ headquarters), other social profit organizations and artists under one roof, bringing shared services and a regional hub to improve the capacity of organizations across the region.
“Marty has built an innovative, barrier-breaking organization aimed at family self-reliance and community health, and I am honored to carry that legacy into this new, exciting chapter as Isles’ next Chief Executive Officer,” says Sean Jackson. “Our community, and indeed our country, face awesome challenges that require innovative, disciplined solutions. Isles management team is talented, experienced, and resourceful. I’m excited to work with them to meet these challenges in the months and years ahead.”
“Sean is the right person to lead Isles in this moment,” says Founder Marty Johnson. “We have learned a lot over the years, and Sean has been alongside us. He is well versed in shaping public policy, launching the Social Profit Center, expanding our lead poisoning prevention work, and grounding our green energy work to jobs and development. These are exciting times for Isles, full of potential. I’m proud to have spent my adult life helping build it.”
Johnson, who had been working as a part-time CEO/President while teaching Social Entrepreneurship at Princeton University and Lafayette College, will stay on in a part-time capacity to work closely with Sean and Chief Operating Officer John Hart to support the transition.
“As COO, John is key to this transition, managing Isles’ operations for over 6 years, building partnerships and bringing a social and racial justice lens to our work,” says Johnson. “He and Sean are a powerful team, committed to Isles’ systemic change agenda.”
“I look forward to working closely with Sean to advance our unusual work,” says John Hart, who had previously served in senior roles in New Jersey government and regional nonprofits. “Sean has been a force as a trustee and colleague at Isles. He is a coalition builder, vital to our policy and legislative work. He’s developed strong ties in Trenton and statewide and understands the on-the-ground challenges and opportunities in the Trenton region.”
The Isles Board of Trustees created a subcommittee to lead the year long search process, which involved reviewing numerous candidates and comprehensive interviews with a select few.
“After 40 years, we are replacing a founder - not an easy task!” says Willard Stanback, Search Committee Member and Vice Chair of Isles’ Board of Trustees. “Concluding our broad effort, we are proud to select, as our next leader, someone who knows Isles very well - Sean Jackson. It is truly promising to have Sean – who was a former board member with me and more recently has been a consultant supporting Isles – bring to this new role his array of skills and depth of knowledge about the organization, obtained through experiences in his prior roles. We look forward to helping him lead Isles into its next era.”