Ernestine Lyons is a dedicated policy expert, political leader, and advocate with a passion for fostering inclusive economic growth and promoting evidence-based policies. With a wealth of experience in economic development, government relations, and international affairs, Ernestine has emerged as a prominent voice in shaping policies that drive positive change and empower communities.
Having served as a Policy and Legislative Director in municipal government, a City Councilperson, and a District Liaison for the Michigan Senate, Ernestine has honed her skills in navigating complex policy landscapes and building strong relationships with stakeholders at all levels of government. Her commitment to advocating for marginalized communities and fostering entrepreneurship has left a lasting impact on the areas she has served.
Ernestine’s global perspective is shaped by her extensive international experience. As a researcher in China, South Africa, and Russia, she gained a profound understanding of diverse cultures and international affairs. Fluent in Russian, Arabic, and Mandarin Chinese, she possesses valuable language skills that facilitate effective communication and cross-cultural understanding.
In addition to her policy work, Ernestine is deeply interested in technology, particularly emerging generative AI, and its potential to address complex policy challenges. She believes in leveraging innovative approaches to intelligence analysis and evidence-based decision-making, and her passion for technology aligns with the ever-evolving digital landscape of policy development.
Currently, Ernestine is excited to be a part of the Grand Rapids Policy Conference, where she looks forward to contributing her insights and expertise to discussions on economic development, technology, and international relations. Her goal is to collaborate with diverse stakeholders to find innovative solutions that drive progress and ensure a brighter future for the community and beyond.
Her dynamic background and dedication to fostering positive change make her an invaluable asset in the ongoing pursuit of sustainable and inclusive economic growth.