Marilyn Jackson

Marilyn Jackson brings to the Ali Center decades of experience making nonprofits great and she’s excited to lead Team Ali.

About Marilyn

Marilyn is the President and CEO of the Muhammad Ali Center, an award-winning museum and multicultural center dedicated to the life and legacy of Muhammad Ali. Through exhibitions, programs, and curricula, the Center shares the hope and inspiration derived from Muhammad Ali’s incredible life and the Six Core Principles that fueled his journey.

Before joining the Ali Center in 2022, Marilyn served as the Chief Engagement Officer for the United Way of Metro Chicago, responsible for marketing, communications, and stakeholder engagement. Under her leadership, United Way launched a series of public programs and learning initiatives that connected the organization’s donors and stakeholders to its community-led neighborhood development strategy.

Before joining United Way in 2016, Marilyn served as the Vice President of Marketing and Audience Strategy for the Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF), a nonprofit cultural organization inspiring people to discover why design matters through tours, exhibitions, programs, and events.

From 2004 through 2010, Marilyn served as the Director of Marketing at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. Under her leadership, the marketing department created and executed a series of award-winning temporary exhibit marketing campaigns setting national attendance records.

Marilyn’s career blends more than 25 years of marketing and strategic planning experience in nonprofit and corporate environments. Marilyn has held management positions at Six Flags Theme Parks and the Ameritech Corporation. She earned her Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and her Bachelor of Science in Biology And Society from Cornell University.

Born in Jamaica and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Marilyn and her husband spent two decades in Chicago raising their three children. Marilyn is now delighted to call Louisville, Kentucky home.

Shop the Museum

Muhammad Ali Center