Former Mayor Edna Branch Jackson was elected to serve as the 65th mayor of Savannah, Georgia and the first African-American woman to hold this position. Under her leadership as Mayor, the city received AAA+ bond rating, tourism increased to 13 million, jobs increased, unemployment decreased from 10% to 5%, there were over $400 million in construction starts, City employee’s salary adjustments were made, and the City had the highest number of international corporations locating to the community in its history. Prior to this election, she was re-elected to serve three terms as Alderman-at-Large Post 1 on the Savannah City Council from January 2000 to 2012, and served as Mayor Pro Tem from 2005 to 2012, making her the first female and first African American Female to hold that position on the Council. Mayor Jackson served on the Board of Directors of the National League of Cities (NLC), and also was a member of the NLC board’s Leadership Training Council. She is a former President of the National League of Cities’ (NLC’s) Women in Municipal Government (WIMG), which is comprised of women elected officials who serve in municipal governments throughout the United States. Mayor Jackson began her career as a public servant as an NAACP Youth Council member in Savannah at the age of nine. While a student at Alfred Ely Beach High School, she was among the students who participated in the “Sit-ins” at downtown Savannah businesses, the “Wade-In’s” at Tybee Beach, and the “Kneel-Ins” at various Savannah churches during the Civil Rights movement in Savannah in the early ’60s. Mayor Jackson has traveled throughout the United States, China, Ghana, Nigeria, Israel, Turkey and other countries to bring businesses to Savannah and the region. She had the distinction of presenting a paper on tourism, preservation, and economic development in Shanghai, China in October 2014. She is Former Vice Chairman and member of the Chatham County Democratic Executive Committee, former Chairperson of the Chatham County Hospital Authority, former board member of Economic Opportunity Authority, and a former member of the U.S. Selective Board, among others. She was appointed by Congressman John Barrow to serve as a member of the Military Academy Selection Committee and the Regional Committee of the U. S. Civil Rights Commission. She is also a member of the NAACP, a former member of the Board of Directors of the Savannah Regional Second Harvest Food Bank and a Diamond Life Member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She has received numerous awards and honors for her dedicated service to the community. She received a Bachelor of Science degree from Savannah State College (now University) and a Master of Education degree from Savannah State University/Armstrong Atlantic State University with additional studies in Counseling at Georgia Southern University.