President's Bio

Sharmain Matlock-Turner is the President and CEO of the Urban Affairs Coalition. She began her tenure in March of 1999, with the special distinction of being the first woman to lead the Coalition. The Urban Affairs Coalition, formerly GPUAC, unites government, business, neighborhoods, and individual initiative to improve the quality of life in the region. In partnership with a diverse Board of Directors, made up of business, nonprofit and community leaders, Ms. Matlock-Turner and her team of managers and more than 350 employees create partnerships and build consensus to help families reduce poverty and reach the middle class. The organization’s efforts are focused in four areas: improving life chances for youth and young adults; building wealth in low income communities; forging strategic partnerships and strengthening the nonprofit sector through fiscal sponsorship. The organization has successfully managed more than $1B in social capital over its 48 year history.

Successful Coalition initiatives include: programs to end homelessness; HIV/AIDS education; a bankers’ collaborative that drives community investment; a multi-partner city-wide effort to close the digital divide; a citywide campaign to employ Philadelphia’s low-income teens during the summer; a partner in the City of Philadelphia’s free, quality pre-K program; a co-convener of Philadelphia’s Read by 4th Campaign and a key consultant to improve contracting and employment opportunities for women and people of color in commercial construction.

Ms. Matlock-Turner is co-founder and chair of the twenty-year-old West Oak Lane Charter School. In addition, she serves on the following boards and committees: Peirce College Board of Trustees; the Regional Federal Reserve Bank’s Economic and Community Advisory Council; Entrepreneur Works, Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce; Children’s Scholarship Fund Philadelphia; Uplift Solutions; Philadelphia Council for College and Career Success; Foundations National Advisory Board, Street Soccer PHL; The Philadelphia Foundation’s On the Table Steering Committee; Cranaleith Spiritual Center President’s Council; the Citizens Bank Advisory Board; and Mayor Kenney’s Workforce Development Steering Committee.  She chairs the Fashion District Economic Opportunity Oversight Committee and serves on the Comcast Innovation Center Economic Opportunity Oversight Committee.

Ms. Matlock-Turner formerly served as Chair of the Advisory Committee for the Office of Economic Opportunity for the City of Philadelphia, an initiative to improve contracting and employment opportunities for women, the disabled and people of color. She also served on the Mayor’s Commission on Construction Industry Diversity and the boards of the Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW), the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority (RDA), LaSalle University and Gwynedd Mercy University. She was also a member of the 2016 DNC National Convention Diversity Committee.  

Ms. Matlock-Turner has received numerous awards recognizing her hard work and commitment to families and communities. Over the past few years, she has been the recipient of the Valley Youth House Community Achiever of the Year Award, Take the Lead Award from Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania, and she received the Citizen Volunteer of the Year Award from the United Way of Southern Pennsylvania and New Jersey. She received the People’s Emergency Center Imprint Award, the Civic Investment Award from Community College of Philadelphia, the American Red Cross Clara Barton Award, the Honorary Myrna Field Award from CASA Philadelphia, Women in the NAACP Award, and 2016 Smart CEO Cornerstone Award. She was the first woman to receive the LaSalle University Leadership Award, and was chosen by KYW Radio as one of their Non Profit Leaders of the year in 2016. Ms. Matlock-Turner was recently honored by Universal Companies with the 2017 Community Service Award as well as the Anthony De Luz Black History Maker of Today Award from the McDonald’s Owner/Operators of the PBMOA, as well as the Children’s Scholarship Fund of Philadelphia Citizen of the Year Award. In addition she received the first Helena T. Devereux Leadership Award, presented by The Devereux Foundation.

Ms. Matlock-Turner has been honored by the Women’s Christian Alliance, the Yorktown Arms Residents Association, the American Women’s Heritage Society, Pennsylvania Senate, Pennsylvania House of Representatives, City of Philadelphia, OARC, Black United Fund, WOMENS WAY, Philadelphia Business Journal, Philadelphia Tribune, the March of Dimes, CLARIFI and the Federal Reserve Bank.

She is a member of the Forum for Executive Women; the Delaware Valley Links and Philadelphia Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. She is also a member of Salem Baptist Church of Jenkintown.

Ms. Matlock-Turner is often asked to speak to local, regional and national organizations. She has spoken before Philadelphia City Council; Family and Fathers Coalition; Global Citizen, Policy Link; Haitian Young Professionals; National Freedom Day Association; Abington Township King Day Celebration and the Fels Institute to name a few.  She is a regular guest commentator on 6abc's public affairs television program Inside Story.

Ms. Matlock-Turner holds a BS degree in Education from Temple University. In 2005, she was one of three Philadelphia nonprofit leaders selected to receive a scholarship to the Harvard Business School’s nonprofit leaders' summer program. In 2014 she received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Peirce College.  Ms. Matlock-Turner is a Senior Fellow at the Fels Institute of Government at the University of Pennsylvania.

Prior to being named President and CEO of the Urban Affairs Coalition, Ms. Matlock-Turner was associate vice president of legislative and community affairs for Mercy Health System and AmeriHealth Caritas.  Before that, Ms. Matlock-Turner was chief of staff to the late Senator Roxanne H. Jones, the first AA woman to serve in the PA State Senate.  She served as a staffer in the PA House of Representatives and Philadelphia City Council.  She was also a local political campaign consultant.

Ms. Matlock-Turner is a Philadelphia resident and is married to Anthony “Tony” Turner with two grown daughters, Ayanna Matlock and Naima Turner-Fleming.  She is the proud grandmother of Joshua Matlock Hale.


Friend her on Facebook
Connect with her on Linkedin

For media interviews with Sharmain Matlock-Turner, contact our Marketing & Communications Manager, Felicia Harris, at or 215-851-1720.