Manikka Bowman has built a career as a land use nonprofit, government, and political leader. As the executive director of Project REAP (Real Estate Associate Program), the nation's premier talent incubator for diverse commercial real estate (CRE) candidates, Bowman revamped the organization's operations, programming, and fund development efforts to ensure that it emerged successfully from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Manikka is also the former Director of Policy for the Urban Land Institute Boston/New England District Council. She led research and provided CRE thought leadership for the Boston market. Bowman also oversaw the ULI Technical Assistance Panel program, which leverages ULI members' expertise to help cities and towns address complex land use issues, including climate resilience mitigation in the built environment.
Bowman is a former field director to Governor Deval Patrick. During her time in this role, she led organizing efforts in Boston and throughout the state for Patrick's successful 2010 re-election campaign. As a grassroots political leader, Bowman has actively supported and worked toward the election of various leaders in Massachusetts at both the local and national levels.
Manikka Bowman has a distinguished record of public service, having previously held the position of the vice-chair of the Cambridge School Committee. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she played a vital role in the negotiation team and provided leadership in settling three agreements with Cambridge educational unions in just one year. These negotiations ensured that students and staff were provided with safe and healthy in-person learning conditions. Bowman also provided oversight and leadership as budget co-chair, ensuring an equitable process for the $202 million CPSD budget.
A Boston Business Journal 40 under 40 honoree, Bowman was a regular contributor to Banker & Tradesman and has written for multiple other outlets. A proud alum of an HBCU, Bethune-Cookman University, she holds a bachelor's degree in sociology and dual master's degrees in Divinity and Urban Policy from Columbia Theological Seminary and Georgia State University.