Mary Freeman

Mary Freeman

Detroit Workforce System Leadership Development Academy, Class of 2017, Economic Opportunities Program

Senior Policy Associate, Corporation for a Skilled Workforce, Detroit, MI

Mary Freeman is a Senior Policy Associate working on the Detroit workforce initiatives in collaboration with Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation, the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development, JPMorgan Chase & Co., and other workforce entities and funders designed to develop and implement strategies to increase communication between those entities and the effectiveness of workforce efforts in the city.

Prior to CSW, she was the senior director of Workforce Development and Operations at Southwest Solutions, a multi-service human services agency in Detroit. She managed and then directed multiple federal workforce grants including Pathways Out of Poverty, the Green Jobs Innovation Fund, Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Program, deconstruction of abandoned homes through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (with the goal of providing workforce and training opportunities) and P.A.T.H., the Michigan Family Independence Program. She directed the Southwest Solutions private and publicly funded Adult Learning Labs as well as privately funded education and training programs including Earn and Learn and fee for service opportunities with many Detroit partners.

Mary has a background in both K-12 and adult education, having worked as a teacher and curriculum consultant in the public schools, and manager and director in community college and community based organizations. She has a BA in Asian Language and Cultures from Wesleyan University and a Master of Arts and Teaching from Lesley University. She co-founded Community Bridges, a nonprofit leadership development program for low income middle school girls with the goal of supporting participants and their families to continue their education and pursue productive careers. She was founder and Director of the Montgomery Coalition for Adult English Literacy within the Workforce Development Department at Montgomery College in Maryland where she advocated for coordinated delivery of services as well as additional funds for adult education.

Mary Freeman is a member of the Detroit Workforce System Leadership Development Academy Class of 2017, one of several Workforce Leadership Academies in localities across North America.

The Workforce Leadership Academies are part of the Economic Opportunity Fellows Network, a network of leadership and fellowship programs run by the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program. Within this Network, EOP connects national and local leaders from across sectors — nonprofit, government, business, philanthropy, academia, and more — to advance policies and practices with the potential to help low- and moderate-income Americans thrive in today’s economy. Learn more at