Samira Cook Gaines

Chief of Civil Rights and Economic Empowerment
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samira-cook_lores.jpgSamira serves as the Chief of Civil Rights and Economic Empowerment for NCRC, where she provides vision and leadership for four small business development centers: The Washington, DC Women’s Business Center (DC WBC), Minority Business Centers in Washington, DC and New York City, and a Small Business Teaming Center. Samira was previously the Director of the Washington, DC Women’s Business Center, which supports women entrepreneurs through training, individual consultation, mentoring, and business growth through government procurement opportunities and exporting. Under Samira's direction, the DC WBC has assisted over 1000 women in achieving their business goals. In honor of her work with small businesses, Samira was recently selected as a White House Champion for Change in the area of entrepreneurship mentoring.

Throughout her public service career, Samira has worked to enhance community economic development in several states and local governments including New Jersey, St. Louis, and San Francisco. Her interest in community economic development has also taken her to several countries in Europe and Africa to assist in local business development. She has also served the residents of the District of Columbia as a Community Planner where she assisted Business Improvement Districts and Business Associations and as Assistant Director for Training and Education for the Department of Small and Local Business Development. Samira also has her own business, a real estate consulting firm, where she strives to engage residents and local businesses in their changing neighborhoods.

Samira received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts and her Master of Public Administration degree from The George Washington University in Washington, DC. She is an active member of her Fort Lincoln neighborhood and volunteers on the Board of the Association for Enterprise Opportunity, the Association of Women’s Business Centers, and the Brandywine Street Association. Samira is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated.