Joni Wickham

About the Trainer

Behind every successful big city Mayor is that wickedly smart, often an iron fist-in-a-velvet glove Chief of Staff – the person who helps formulate and develop ideas and initiatives, and then sees that things get done.

Joni Wickham is one of those people; a person who personifies the positive changes women can make if they’re involved with civic engagement and public service.

Joni is an accomplished political strategist, communications expert, and organizational leader.

  • Served as Chief of Staff during the former Kansas City, MO Mayor Sly James’ highly successful 8-year term in office.
  • Directed public policy initiatives, communications tactics, and administrative decision-making during her tenure, all while promoting women’s leadership and empowerment issues.
  • Facilitates She Should Run programs. She Should Run is an incubator – not wedded to any political party – that has inspired more than 26,000 women to run for public office.
  • Possesses close to two decades of experience in national, state and local politics and an extensive background in strategic communications, public policy and organizational leadership.
  • Presents impactful keynotes and effective, practical training on such topics as strategic decision making, cultivating leadership, building networks, and fostering communication skills.

Joni leaves audiences feeling informed, inspired and motivated.

She was directly involved in such initiatives as Women’s Empowerment, that helped city government work better for the women who work with and for it; Turn the Page KC, now an independently operating 501c3 organization, dedicated to mobilizing the community to achieve reading proficiency at grade level or above for all 3rd graders in Kansas City, Missouri; and the Kansas City No Violence Alliance, a focused deterrence approach to crime reduction that resulted in a 42-year-low in homicides in Kansas City in 2014. And – the list goes on and on…

Joni started her career in public service campaigning in the tobacco fields of North Carolina. Joni graduated from Meredith College in North Carolina, before earning her Master’s in Political Science from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She is married and has a daughter.

Topic Areas

  • Strategic Communications
  • Political Strategy and Communications
  • Public Policy Formulation, Development and Implementation
  • Organizational Leadership
    Women’s Empowerment Through Civic Engagement and Public Service
  • Time and Task Management

Degrees and Awards

Meredith College, North Carolina, Political Science
University of Missouri-Columbia, Masters Degree, Political Science

Books and Publications

Navigating Conflict While Female – An informational series addressing the unique challenges women face when dealing with confrontation, friction, or disagreement.
Part One
Part Two

News Stories

New Study Shows Lack of Women in Local Government
Mayor’s Chief of Staff talks jobs, motherhood
Featured in podcast titled
Wonder Woman in Business and Politics, Joni Wickham

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    The Thin Line Between Cupcake & Bitch
    Political Strategy and Communications
    Why Women Should Become Civically and Politically Active

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    Handbook Help

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    Custom Programs