Julia Silvis, of McKinsey & Company, is manager of the Itasca Project. The Itasca Project is a virtual roundtable of CEOs, non-profit, and civic leaders, which aims to increase the economic competitiveness of the greater Minneapolis-St Paul region. It has particular focus areas in job growth/economic development, education, and transportation, as well as socio-economic disparities. She supported the Itasca Project’s higher education taskforce in 2011, and was staffed full time to the Project in February 2013. A native of the greater Minneapolis-St Paul region, she is happy to be home, and working to make the region an even better place. During her nearly 9 years at McKinsey, she has served clients in the banking, insurance, energy, non-profit and public sectors, on topics such as service delivery, process optimization, organizational health, and strategy. Prior to joining McKinsey in 2008, Julia received a Ph.D. in Transportation, Technology and Policy from the University of California-Davis where she focused on issues of senior mobility and social networks. She received a Women’s Transportation Seminar Scholarship in support of her graduate work. Ms. Silvis graduated from Harvard College with a degree in the history of science.