Robert L. Bell, Director

Robert L. Bell - Director, Economic Inclusion

In January 2018, Robert Bell was appointed by County Commissioners as Director of Economic Inclusion for Hamilton County, Ohio. His initiative called BOLD - "Building Opportunities by Leveraging Diversity" is being implemented County-wide to ensure inclusion and diversity becomes a priority in county operations (hiring and staffing) as well as in county procurement and purchasing practices.

Robert brings significant inclusion experience to Hamilton County. He headed the HUD mandated Section 3 Jobs and Economic Inclusion Programs for the Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) for over seven years.

He brings additional experience in program management, service effectiveness, economic development, teaching and training, and contract compliance from previous positions at Beech Acres, the United Way of Greater Cincinnati and the University of Cincinnati. Robert was named the "Economic Inclusion Advocate of the Year" in 2016 at the Midwest Regional Environmental Sustainability Summit. In early 2017, he received a National "Merit Award" for helping residents lift themselves out of poverty through the National Sherwin Williams Painter Training Program; and later that year, his "Building for the Future" program was nominated as a "National Best Practice" by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, and was awarded the "National Award of Excellence" by the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials for his success in helping minority and women-owned businesses grow and prosper.

Robert has an MBA from Xavier University and an undergraduate degree in Sociology from Edgecliff College.

Very active in the community over the past 20 years, Robert has volunteered his services in strategic planning, continuous improvement, workforce development and board leadership training with many non-profits and other public institutions throughout Greater Cincinnati.

Aiesha Howard, Community Engagement Administrator

Aiesha Howard - Director, Economic Inclusion

Aiesha Howard joined the Economic Inclusion and Equity Department as the Community Engagement Administrator in April 2021. She previously served in a 29-year career at the Hamilton County Department of Job & Family Services (HCJFS).

At HCJFS Ms. Howard fulfilled leadership roles across diverse programming including Public Assistance, Workforce Development, Child Support, and Children’s Services, always passionately advocating for the engagement, support, and strengthening of families and staff through a lens of equity and cultural awareness. She consistently championed for programming and policy change to address race disproportionality in child welfare custody cases. Her advocacy influenced the development of the HCJFS Office of Client Rights and the upcoming Office of Family Voice, which will provide peer support, education, and advocacy for parents in child welfare cases.

In her role as Community Engagement Administrator, Ms. Howard will support the Director of Economic Inclusion and Equity, and the Economic Inclusion Advisory Council in advancing equity in services, treatment and opportunities for minority and underserved citizens, employees, and businesses of Hamilton County. In her first assignment Ms. Howard managed the launch the Hamilton County Equity and Resources Mobile Tech Bus (513 Relief Bus) which provides community based COVID-19 vaccinations, economic relief, and other social service resources to Hamilton County citizens.

Ms. Howard has a MSW from the University of Kentucky and an undergraduate degree in Communications from Xavier University (Cincinnati).