Meet Monique

I have been a Rockville resident for 15 years, living in both East and West Rockville. I was born in New York to a Hispanic mother and a West Indian father. My mother says I was a community activist from birth as she sang “We Shall Overcome” to me in my crib nightly. I grew up in Jamaica queens, attended NYU to study public health, and came to DC in 2001 to pursue a master’s in public health at GWU. While there I met my husband George Ashton, and in time we moved to Rockville to begin our lives together and start a family. I am an executive, champion for our kids and schools, community activist, protector of smart growth, and a strong mother of three (two kids and a dog). I am committed to preserving and improving Rockville.
Professional Experience

In my professional capacity, I serve as a Senior Vice President at Ogilvy focused on public health and science. I have led large, multimillion dollar, integrated initiatives on behalf of National Institutes of Health, the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Department of Health and Human Services, and large corporations as well as emerging biotech companies. Prior to this work, I served as the communications and public health advisor for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Minority Health (OMH). I also led partnership development efforts recruiting more than 550 organizations, supported the management of the OMH Resource Center. I have been honored to receive numerous accolades for work on health, community development, such as a Professional Achievement Award, and a NIH Merit Award for International and Multicultural communications, US Surgeon General Certificate of Appreciation, Census Bureau community partner award, among others. I was also selected as a Presidential Management Fellow and worked for the Office of the United States Surgeon General, the HHS Office of Global Health Affairs, the HHS Regional Director’s Office, and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services Region II Office. I am a graduate of New York University and I earned a Master’s in public health degree from the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, where I was inducted in Delta Omega, an honorary society. I have a certificate in health care reform from the University of Western Cape and completed short courses in the Dominican Republic and South Africa, where she focused on women’s health, HIV/AIDS, community health. Through these experiences I have honed the following areas of expertise that I seek to utilize to support the City of Rockville, including:

• Strategic planning and implementation
• Management of multimillion dollar budgets and teams
• Community outreach and civic engagement
• Partnership development
• Stakeholder mapping and planning to understand and deliver the needs of diverse constituents • Strategic communications and visibility to drive engagement, growth, and visibility for Rockville • Program and initiative development to support health, human services, education, and business innovation
• Diversity and inclusion to reduce disparities
• Representing and finding consensus among diverse views
• Conflict and issues management

Champion for Kids & Schools

I have served two years as a Board member of the Montgomery County Council of Parent Teacher Association (PTA). I am currently the Richard Montgomery (RM) Cluster Coordinator, serving 7 schools and representing all Montgomery County schools. As a cluster coordinator, I along with my colleagues represent, coordinate, and advocate for the needs of a broad section of our community in Rockville.

I also co-led the quadrennial RM cluster meeting with the Board of Education, which garnered participation from more than 200 families and focused on safety, curriculum, capacity, and school climate. Over the past several years, I have advocated for the development of the new Bayard Rustin Elementary School. Prior to these positions, I served as the College Gardens Elementary School PTA President for two year, VP of Programs, delegate for two years, and NAACP parent liaison. I also served as the VP of Programs at Beall Elementary. I planned large community events, supported innovative in-school and after school programming for children, increased parent participation and engagement, supported efforts to reduce educational disparities and support students in need, and supported overall organizational management. I also served as an advisor to support the development of the inaugural PTA of the Thomas Edison High School, which serves students across Montgomery County. The programs at Edison allow students to experience success through hands on learning that prepares them for college and future careers. Most recently, I served on the boundary study committee, principal selection and naming committee, and led efforts to establish the inaugural PTA.

Smart Growth
Recently, I served on the workgroup established by the Rockville City Council to share ideas and discuss the issue of the APFS (Adequate Pubilc Facilities Ordinance). In this capacity, I worked to represent the needs of our community, find consensus among the school and business sectors, and support the educational needs of our students and the long term economic needs of Rockville.
Community Activism / Effective Governance
During my tenure in these capacities, I collected several hundred community comments, participated in community meetings, developed reports, implemented surveys, built consensus, coordinated with the Board of Education and MCPS, engaged with the City of Rockville, and advocated for the needs of our communities across Rockville. I do this work as a volunteer because I care about the City of Rockville, and the communities, families, and businesses that make it great.
My Commitment to You

I will work every day in a collaborative manner to support the communities, constituents, and businesses of Rockville. My priorities will be to:

• Expand civic engagement
• Support community service and create leadership opportunities for youth
• Focus on increasing coordination with the County Council and MCPS to support our school communities
• Support good stewardship of city funds and sound financial management
• Attract and support business development and innovation in Rockville
• Improve equity and celebrate our diversity
• Elevate the visibility of Rockville to encourage patronage of our businesses
• Continue to support and expand green spaces, parks and recreation opportunities Personally, I have been a resident of Rockville for 15 years, and moving to this city has been decisions I have made. I am a mother of two school-aged children, and the diversity of Rockville and the neighborly quality of our city has been the perfect place to choose to raise my mixed race, Hispanic ethnicity family. I believe the experiences and qualities noted above have given me a unique advantage in better understanding the challenges and effective solutions that would best serve each of the communities. I would welcome the opportunity to participate on the City Council and continue its long legacy of serving the people of Rockville.

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Authority: Friends of Monique Ashton; Mathew McCormick, Treasurer