Miami native Jeffrey Watson is a passionate leader on a mission to foster economic inclusion, build capacity, and elevate community status for enhanced outcomes and quality of life. He has over 30 years’ experience in finance, development and urban economic development. His passion for community can be traced back to his strong educational foundation and significant public service in both Overtown and Liberty City, where he spent his formative years. A graduate of Florida State University with a B.S. in Accounting and Finance, Mr. Watson has had extensive experience in developing strategic and long-term initiatives for both local and National governments. His greatest priority is bridging the gap between economic opportunity and sustainability for neighborhoods across the U.S. This work has also taken him abroad as counsel to the governments and leaders in China, Brazil, South Africa, and Kenya to name a few.
Mr. Watson founded J. Watson & Company (JWC) through which he has counseled both US and International leaders and municipalities on innovative approaches to community revitalization and development. This integrates his most current venture in the field of renewable energy development and the founding of Solairgen Energy, a renewable energy start-up venture. Prior to founding JWC, Mr. Watson was Vice President for Government Relations at the Jefferson Group, a Washington, DC based consulting firm, where he formulated strategies for public and non-profit entities seeking to obtain federal financial assistance.
His National public career includes serving as Interim Assistant and Deputy Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs in the White House for President William Jefferson Clinton. In addition, Mr. Watson served as a Director of the Presidential Transition team and in various states as a State Field Director; and ultimately, the Deputy National Field Director of the Clinton/Gore Presidential campaign. Prior to his service in Washington, DC, he was the Chief Financial Officer of the City of Miami Department of Housing and Development and, Chief of Staff to City of Miami Mayor Xavier Suarez. His primary experience stems from serving as Accountant and Internal auditor at both Coopers & Lybrand, and Arthur Anderson & Co.
He has served as member of the Board of Directors of RENEX Corporation, (a publicly traded dialysis company for ESRD patients), Vice Chair of Miami Dade County Housing and Finance Authority and, Board of Director member of the Institute of Caribbean Studies. Mr. Watson was selected as U.S. Fellow for the American Council of Young Political Leaders in a Political Leaders Exchange to the Peoples Republic of China in 1988 and 1994, as well as for Argentina, Brazil and Chile in 2000. He was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from Support Network, Inc. – New York City, and the African American Achievers Award from JM Family Enterprise in Florida.
Mr. Watson met his wife Carmen Ramos-Watson thanks to Mayor Xavier Suarez and together they have two children – Alejandro (29) a film maker and moving image artist and Ariel (25) a basketball player and entrepreneur in fashion. Mr. Watson is an avid Miami sports fanatic, interested about the world and culture and a good cigar. In his spare time keeps learning new ways to develop his capacity to best serve and continue showing love to his City of Miami.