PHILADELPHIA – The City’s Department of Commerce today announced Raheem Manning, Philadelphia-based business development professional with years of experience spanning entrepreneurship, civic engagement, marketing, and advertising along with arts and culture advocacy roles, as the City’s Night Time Economy Director. In this newly created role, Manning will lead public engagement efforts to develop a strategic governance plan and advocate for policies that support the City’s attraction and retention of companies within its night-time economy. 

“Raheem’s background and experience are well-suited to lead strategies that promote Philadelphia as a 24-hour city that is a dynamic driver of tourism, hospitality, world-class arts, and cultural assets,” said Commerce Director Anne Nadol. “I am confident that Raheem is the right person to convene ecosystem partnerships for the night-time economy that will make it easier to operate a successful business in Philadelphia while enhancing our city as a thriving, diverse destination for all.”

Previously, Manning served as the Co-Chair of the City’s Arts and Culture Task Force for two fiscal years. During his time, Manning coordinated with City leadership and legislators to advocate for effective changes that strengthen Philadelphia’s night-time economy. Manning conducted community-based research with stakeholders to prepare recommendations that support Philadelphia’s arts, culture, and nightlife sectors.

“Philadelphia was one of the only major cities without a government position dedicated to nightlife – until now,” said Councilmember Isaiah Thomas. “After hearing concerns on this issue from City Council’s Arts and Culture Task Force, I made it a priority to fund this position and am proud to see Raheem Manning (co-chair of our task force) selected as Philadelphia’s first Night Time Economy Director. Arts and culture, when properly invested in, can create jobs and boost the economy. I look forward to supporting these goals as well as further attracting people and businesses to enjoy Philadelphia’s nightlife.”

Philadelphia’s Night Time Economy Director role is an implemented recommendation from the Arts and Culture Task Force. The funding for this position is supported by the Mayor’s Budget. Raheem serves with the Philadelphia Commerce Department, Office of Business Development & Workforce Solutions, effective July 11, 2022.

Raheem earned a Master’s in Business Administration from Thomas Jefferson University and holds certification in International Business from East China Normal University. As the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Weekender Experiences, LLC, Raheem has been providing tailored travel experiences for young professionals since 2015. Raheem serves as a Board Vice-Chair & Chief Development Officer at the Elvira B. Pierce Scholarship Fund.

“I have visited over 200 cities around the world and many have Night Time Directors that are convening public and private stakeholders to establish a night time governance plan,” said Night Time Economy Director Raheem Manning. “As we emerge from the pandemic, I am excited to contribute to these efforts in my hometown of Philadelphia for our city to be a welcoming and globally competitive hub for art, culture and nightlife.”

A headshot of Raheem is available for download online.