Ms. Jalifi’s career with the City of Austin has provided her professional opportunities ranging from management positions in economic development, cultural arts and human resources to serving in the City Manager’s Office. During her tenure, she has successfully worked with elected and administrative officials, citizen advocates, federal agencies and entrepreneurs. In her most recent position with the City of Austin, Rosy has provided executive leadership to the Small Business Development Program and the Cultural Arts Program. Rosy fondly describes her job as one in which she exercises both sides of her brain. “In one hour, I’m working on an issue pertaining to entrepreneurs who often approach life through data and numbers. Then, in my next meeting I’m discussing an exciting arts issue which often is in the realm of creativity.”
In 2000, she founded the City’s award-winning Small Business Program that has assisted more than 15,000 entrepreneurs. Through her leadership and vision this program was recognized as the “Best Entrepreneurial Development Program” in cities with populations greater than 500,000 by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). IEDC has recognized this innovative program with 5 awards. The U.S. Small Business Administration, National League of Cities and Austin’s Livable Cities have also recognized Rosy and her team.
A prestigious award, “Bright Idea”, was presented to Rosy by Harvard University’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation. Harvard recognized SBDP’s “Meet the Lender” Business Loan Fair as a bright idea that should be emulated by other local governments. Rosy’s thoughts on this award include, “It is quite an honor being recognized by the Kennedy School of Government. This school carries the namesake of President John F. Kennedy; and, President Kennedy inspired me to look at public service as a noble career. I now have the best of all worlds – an educational degree from The University of Texas at Austin and a professional award from Harvard University. It can’t get much better than this.”
Rosy honors those professionals that she has had the privilege of working with over the years. She recognizes that her accomplishments have not been solo events, but rather a collective effort in which all worked towards a shared vision.
Ms. Jalifi is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin. She is a co-founder of Austin’s chapter of ICMA’s Hispanic Network, predecessor to Austin International Hispanic Network, and, served as a board member of the National ICMA Hispanic Network. She has been an officer of the Austin Hispanic Chamber and Leadership Austin. Ms. Jalifi is an alumna of Leadership Texas.