Jowan Thornton

Community Scholar
State Director, Arizona
Unite Us

Social profit thought leader and advocate with over a decade of experience establishing community-building programs and cross-organizational collaboration.

Mr. Thornton aligns products, programs, and services for individuals and families experiencing homelessness, economic and environmental vulnerabilities, and poverty. He believes in growing an organizational culture that credibly and authentically serves the community and leveraging collaborative partnerships to connect these efforts to the greater goal, a better future for all of Arizona.

Before Unite Us, Thornton developed, implemented, and oversaw governmentally subsidized programs within non-profit organizations serving youth and families across the education and food sectors in Los Angeles, New York City, and Phoenix. An active member of several nonprofit boards, Jowan advocates for families, speaks as a subject-matter expert at industry events and participates in local and national educational seminars. He also served as a mentor to nonprofit management students and was named American Express Leadership Academy at ASU, Class VII President.

Jowan was a collegiate Division 1 football player at Wagner, NYC, and remains a lifelong sports enthusiast. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Family Studies and received his Master’s degree in Nonprofit and Association Management at the University of Maryland. When he’s not in the community, Jowan is learning French and Spanish, jogging, or playing tennis with his wife.


Qunshan Zhao, Chelsea Dickson, Jowan Thornton, Patricia Solís, Elizabeth Wentz. (2020). Articulating strategies to address heat resilience using spatial optimization and temporal analysis of utility assistance data of the Salvation Army Metro Phoenix. Manuscript accepted. Applied Geography 122(2020):1-10.