Vital Voices shines a light on past Global Leadership Awards honoree: Jamira Burley

Vital Voices Global Partnership
2 min readOct 18, 2023


2018 Global Leadership Awards Honoree: Jamaira Burley

We’re just a week away from the 22nd Annual Global Leadership Awards, our biggest event of the year that honors global women leaders. Vital Voices is thrilled to bring you our final update in a four-part series highlighting the recent successes of our past honorees.

This week, we highlight Jamira Burley from West Philadelphia, a 2018 Global Leadership Awards honoree and White House Champion of Change, for her transformational advocacy work on criminal justice reform and pro-peace/anti-gun violence regulation.

At age 15, Burley tragically lost her brother, Andre, to gun violence in a robbery by someone who supposedly was his friend.

“Knowing what I knew after my brother’s death, I could no longer say that I didn’t have a responsibility to make my community better,” she said in her 2018 honoree film.

Not long after, Burley found her calling in community peace-building and advocacy work. She became the first of her 16 siblings to graduate from high school and pursue a higher education (all 10 of her older brothers had been incarcerated; meanwhile, her father was serving a life sentence).

Burley participated in several Vital Voices leadership programs, including HerLead and VVLead.

Recently, Burley served as Director of Social Impact North America at Adidas, where she masterminded community activations and donations tied to cultural milestones and sports events. These efforts were instrumental in breaking down cultural and systemic sports barriers in affected areas. Now living in the San Fransisco Bay Area with her mini dachshund Mickey, Burley spearheads Worldwide Education Strategic Initiatives at Apple. In this capacity, she partners with global leaders to leverage Apple technology for improved educational outcomes. Notably, Burley led in devising the tech company’s global engagement strategy with governments, foundations, and educational stakeholders.

2018 Global Leadership Awards Film: Jamira Burley

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At Vital Voices, we believe that when women are empowered, societies thrive. Our honoree programs have been at the forefront of driving change and igniting progress for women in the economic, political, and social sectors for more than a generation. Through these initiatives, we provide transformative opportunities, mentorship, and training to empower women leaders, enabling them to unleash their full potential and create lasting impact in their communities.

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Written by the Communications Team at Vital Voices



Vital Voices Global Partnership

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