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Annia Aleman


Innovation Director

Annia Aleman is the Innovation Director at Ascender. At Ascender, she is in charge of designing and executing educational programming for entrepreneurs that provides them with the tools to launch and build their businesses. 

Annia believes Ascender is a hub where new ideas, creativity, and hard work happens. For Annia, working with entrepreneurs is an honor as she can see how local innovators launch and build new products or services that impact how people live, work, and play. 

Before joining Ascender, Annia worked for four years at the Department of Innovation & Performance, City of Pittsburgh. Annia’s eye for creative solutions, problem-solving skills, and convening and cultivating partnerships led her to work across teams and departments. Here, she was responsible for launching and managing PGH Lab, a program that connects startups and city government to test new products and services. She helped push forward the citywide Inclusive Innovation plan that convened and amplified organizations working towards a more inclusive and equitable Pittsburgh for all. She also participated in the 2018 Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Mayors Challenge, where cities competed for a grand prize of 1 million dollars to address pressing needs. Annia has worked nationally and internationally leading human-centered design thinking workshops in the public sector. 

Annia holds a Master’s in Public Policy & Management from Heinz College, Carnegie Mellon University, and a Bachelor’s in Global Policy with a minor in Economics from Chatham University. Annia was a 2020 New Leaders Council Fellow, where she participated in a six-month leadership training program. In 2018 the Pittsburgh Business Times recognized Annia as one of Pittsburgh’s “30 under 30,” and The Incline recognized her as one of the “Who’s Next: Technology.”