Disaster Recovery Coordinator
Economic Development Administration
United States Department of Commerce
Joshua Barnes joined EDA in February 2010 to lead the agency’s continuity of operations program and support agency security and disaster recovery programs. Presently, Mr. Barnes serves as the EDA Disaster Recovery Coordinator and leads disaster recovery and economic resilience policy and technical assistance implementation efforts. In his tenure at EDA, he has served as a core team member in the National Incident Command Economic Solutions Team responding to the economic recovery consequences from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. Through his efforts he was awarded the USCG Commander’s Award for Civilian Service. In his role as EDA’s Disaster Recovery Coordinator, Mr. Barnes leads the development and promulgation of economic resilience policy for the agency. In addition, Mr. Barnes serves as the National Coordinator for the Economic Recovery Support Function, under the National Disaster Recovery Framework. In that role Mr. Barnes leads interagency efforts to coordinate information sharing, technical assistance, and the leverage of resources to support economic recovery from major and catastrophic disasters nation-wide. His experience has included providing economic recovery leadership in locations such as New York, New Jersey, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Vermont, Texas, Alabama and Colorado. Prior to EDA, he was the Director of the National Preparedness Division of MSA, Incorporated; a small, minority, woman-owned small business in Washington DC.
Chris Chmura, PhD
President and Chief Economist
Chmura Economics & Analytics
Dr. Chmura’s firm has helped many corporate and government clients successfully navigate into and through the Great Recession by providing valuable economic insight and forecasting. Prior to starting her own company, Chris was a senior economist at some of the nation’s top banks and the Federal Reserve. Chris has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, and her interest rate forecasts have been published in the Blue Chip Financial Forecast for over 20 consecutive years. She serves on the Governor’s Economic Advisory Board and the Governor’s Commission on Economic Development & Job Creation for the state of Virginia. Dr. Chmura is also an adjunct professor at the Virginia Commonwealth University teaching classes for several years on applied labor economics. She was inducted into the National Leadership Honor Society, a university award for her role as an outstanding professor and for her exemplary campus citizenship.
James C. Collard, PhD
Director of Planning and Economic Development
Citizen Potawatomi Nation
James currently serves as the Director of Planning and Economic Development for the Citizen Potawatomi Nation and is developing a rail-anchored industrial park on tribal trust land. His duties also include evaluating and facilitating numerous business development proposals and tribal franchise opportunities and implementing the tribal strategic economic development plan. Previous economic development activities include serving as Chair of the Morgan County, CO Economic Development Corporation and as a member of the Executive Committee for the St. Charles County, MO Economic Development Corporation. He has facilitated and packaged numerous economic development projects and agreements over the last 20+ years and guided the development of a community-based Fiscal Impact Tool and a Computable General Equilibrium Model. He has traveled extensively internationally on business ventures including accompanying the Missouri Governor on a trade mission to Asia. Currently Dr. Collard serves as the Vice Chair of the Oklahoma Governor’s International Team. His previous experience includes over seventeen years in city management and five years as an executive in the environmental services industry.
JoAnn Crary, CEcD
Saginaw Future, Inc.
JoAnn Crary is the President of Saginaw Future, a non-profit economic development organization. She has held that position since 1993 and has been in economic development since the mid 1980’s. Crary completed her undergraduate degree from Ferris State University and has a Masters degree from Central Michigan University. She is a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD), a graduate of the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute and is a certified Economic Development Finance Professional.
Crary is a member of the MEDC Collaborative Development Council, an advisory group representation the 10 economic development regions in Michigan. She was recently elected to be the Chairman of the International Economic Development Council’s Board of Directors, is a member of the Governance Committee and the Economic Development Research Partners. Crary also Chaired the Ethics Committee in 2014 and served as board liaison for the Young Professionals Task Force. IEDC is the foremost international economic development organization with over 4500 members. She has served on the IEDC Board since 2006.
Crary is serves as Secretary/Treasurer of the Great Lakes Bay Regional Development Corporation, the Saginaw County Revolving Loan Fund Board, Saginaw Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, FirstMerit Bank Market Area Board and the Saginaw Hospital Finance Authority. Crary also serves on the Board of Fellows at Saginaw Valley State University, Mobile Medical Response Finance Committee and is an ex officio member of the Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. JoAnn also serves on Dow Chemical Company’s Great Lakes Bay Region Community Advisory Panel.
Crary was recently awarded the Saginaw Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Saginaw Marsh-Princing Award for 2014. She was also recognized in 2013 as one of the Great Women of the Great Lakes Bay and was given the Wally Bronner Community Spirit Award from the Saginaw County Chapter of American Red Cross in 2010. She was also honored with the inaugural Economic Leadership Award from Junior Achievement of Northeast Michigan in 2010. The Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce gave Crary its inaugural Athena Award in 2005 and in 2001, the Michigan Economic Developers Association named Crary as the MEDA Medalist Award winner. In 1996, she was honored by Governor Engler as the Economic Developer of the Year for outstanding contributions in economic development.
JoAnn and her two children, KaLynn and Michael reside in Frankenmuth.
The Honorable Mark E. Doms, PhD
Under Secretary for Economic Affairs
U.S. Department of Commerce
Under Secretary Mark Doms serves as a top economic advisor to the United States Department of Commerce (DOC) and the Obama Administration. In this capacity, he contributes to policies and discussions on a wide range of issues including trade, manufacturing, taxation, innovation, competiveness, retirement security, immigration, and education. Dr. Doms also leads the Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA), which includes two of our nation’s leading information agencies: the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).
Brett Doney, CEcD
President & CEO
Great Falls Development Authority, Inc.
Great Falls, MT
Brett Doney is the President & CEO of the Great Falls Development Authority, a public/private economic development partnership serving the Great Falls Montana trade area. GFDA’s mission is to grow and diversify the Great Falls economy and support the creation of high wage jobs. GFDA is active in business retention and expansion, entrepreneurship, business attraction, downtown and riverfront revitalization, and workforce development. In 2012, GFDA became the first economic development organization in the Rocky Mountain West to be accredited by the International Economic Development Council.
GFDA is a Community Development Financial Institution, and hosts a Small Business Development Center and a Procurement Technical Assistance Center. Doney also leads High Plains Financial, a SBA Certified Development Corporation that is affiliated with GFDA, and the Great Falls AgriTech Park LLC, developer of a 1,300 acre rail industrial park.
Doney has 28 years of experience in urban and rural community economic development from the various perspectives of the non-profit, public and private sectors. His prior positions include President & CEO of Enterprise Maine, a family of community economic development organizations dedicated to creating economic opportunity and enhancing the quality of life in rural western Maine, Director of the Ft. Devens Reuse Center, a 9,600 acre army base redevelopment effort in Massachusetts, and President of Doney Associates, a Boston-based consulting firm focused on urban revitalization.
Doney’s efforts have won awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the American Economic Development Council, the International Economic Development Council, the National Association of Development Organizations, and the Finance Authority of Maine. His professional certifications include Master of Corporate Real Estate (MCR), Senior Leader of Corporate Real Estate (SLCR), Certified Economic Developer (CEcD), American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), RMA Credit Risk Certification, LEED Accredited Professional, Federal Grants Management and Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP). He is a graduate of the Economic Development Institute of the University of Oklahoma. Doney earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California at Santa Barbara and a Masters in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Doney has taught and given presentations for a number of state, national and international organizations. He serves on the boards of the Montana Economic Development Association, NeighborWorks Great Falls, the Downtown Great Falls Partnership and Montana Ambassadors. He is an active Rotarian and past President of the Great Falls Rotary Club.
Michael Dukmejian is the publisher of BLOOMBERG MARKETS magazine - an award winning publication for global financial decision-makers. Before joining Bloomberg in 2009, Dukmejian was Executive Vice President of SourceMedia Inc., where he oversaw the Professional Services division that included publications such as Financial Planner, On Wall Street and Employee Benefits News. He spent more than 20 years at Time Inc in a variety of positions including financial, business and sales development, marketing and sales. His last position was group publisher of the Fortune and Money group and CNNMoney.com. Before that, he was publisher of Money and Mutual Funds magazines. He also worked in management positions at Sports Illustrated, Fortune and Time magazines.
Dukmejian holds an MBA in finance from New York University's Stern School of Business and a BA in political science from Stony Brook University.
The Honorable John Engler
John Engler is president of the Business Roundtable (BRT), an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. corporations with a combined workforce of nearly 16 million workers and more than $7 trillion in annual revenues.
A former three-term governor of Michigan, Engler assumed the BRT leadership in January 2011 after serving six years as president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers.
He had previously served for 20 years in the Michigan Legislature, including seven years as Senate majority leader. Elected in 1970, Engler was the youngest person ever elected to the Michigan State House of Representatives.
Engler serves on the board of directors for Universal Forest Products, K12 Inc., and the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
Born in Mt. Pleasant, Mich., in 1948, Engler graduated from Michigan State University with a bachelor of science in agricultural economics. Later, he earned a law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Mich. He and his wife, Michelle, are parents of triplet daughters born in 1994 and live in Virginia.
Jeffrey Finkle, CEcD
President & CEO
International Economic Development Council
As President and CEO of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), Jeff Finkle is a recognized leader and authority on economic development. With the formation of IEDC in 2001 following the merger of the Council for Urban Economic Development (CUED) - where he was president for 15 years - and the American Economic Development Council (AEDC), Jeff set the course for a more effective and influential organization. Today IEDC is the world's largest economic development membership organization and is a $5 million annual operation that is renowned for its leadership in professionalizing and diversifying the field of economic development.
Jeff previously served as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and has received numerous awards over the years for his commitment to making sustainable economic development a priority in communities of all sizes. Significantly, in 2011 he was lauded by the U.S. Department of Commerce for his 25 years of stewardship over CUED and IEDC. Moreover, as a longtime leader in community service and philanthropy, in 2005 Jeff organized 250 economic development volunteers to work in Gulf Coast communities endeavoring to recover from Hurricane Katrina. In 1989 he also founded the Bollinger Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides financial assistance to children who have lost a parent who worked in the field of economic development.
A frequent lecturer and author of numerous articles, Jeff has appeared on CBS Sunday Morning, Fox television and the Journal Report on PBS. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in communications in 1976 from Ohio University in Athens and pursued graduate studies in business administration at Ohio State University. He maintains a strong connection with Ohio University’s Voinovich School for Leadership and Public Affairs.
Gynii Gilliam & Associates
Gynii is the managing director of Gynii Gilliam & Associates, a newly-formed consulting firm specializing in economic development, including site selection assistance, community development training, and business/organizational strategic planning. She has over 25 years of experience in the field, through both the private and public sectors and in both rural and urban communities.
Prior to striking out on her own, Ms. Gilliam was the Chief Economic Development Officer at the Idaho Department of Commerce where she was responsible for economic growth, across all industry sectors. Under her leadership, her team helped bring 3500 direct jobs and $700 million in capital investment to the state over an 18 month period in 2012-2013. Previous work in eastern Idaho also netted over 2000 jobs and over $600 million in capital investment for the Pocatello region (Pop 80,000). She has also worked on successful projects in rural central Idaho, as well as Los Angeles and Detroit.
Ms. Gilliam holds a Master’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles and studied abroad at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. She was a California State Scholar and the recipient of the Rackham Graduate School Fellowship.
Gynii is involved in many local civic organizations, as well as various state and national economic development organizations. She has presented at the National Council of State Governments, the Northwest Food Processors Association, the Pacific Northwest Economic Development Council, and many others. She also teaches a graduate course in community and regional planning at Boise State University. Gynii and her husband Tony have two adult sons and have been residents of Idaho for over 25 years.
Stanley H. Gimont
Director, Office of Block Grant Assistance
US Department of Housing and Urban Development
Mr. Gimont is the Director of HUD’s Office of Block Grant Assistance (OBGA), which is responsible for administration of all components of the Community Development Block Grant (CBDG) program including:
•Entitlement CDBG program;
•State CDBG program;
•Section 108 loan guarantee program;
•CDBG-funded disaster recovery efforts such as those along the Gulf Coast; and
•Neighborhood Stabilization Programs 1, 2 and 3.
Mr. Gimont came to HUD in 1987 as a Presidential Management Intern and initially worked with the State CDBG program. He was a senior financial analyst with the HUD’s Section 108 loan guarantee program from 1993 through 2000 and was actively engaged in implementation of several nationwide initiatives aimed at expanding the use of HUD funds for economic development purposes. He subsequently joined HUD’s Office of Multifamily Development for a brief period before returning to CPD as Deputy Director of the Section 108 program. More recently, Mr. Gimont was Director of the CDBG Entitlement Program and Deputy Director of OBGA before being selected as Director in July 2008. He has twice received the CPD Assistant Secretary’s Award for his work on economic development and CDBG reform initiatives (1998 and 2006, respectively). Mr. Gimont holds masters degrees in public administration (George Washington University) and real estate development (Johns Hopkins University).
Todd Greene, CEcD
Vice President, Community & Economic Development Research & Policy
Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
Todd Greene is vice president in the research department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. Greene’s responsibilities include providing leadership, strategic direction, and oversight for the community and economic development department. With research, policy, and evidence-based best practices, and a focus on human capital development, small business, housing, and community and economic development finance, the group works to promote community and economic development and sustainable growth for all sectors of the economy.
Before joining the Atlanta Fed in 2008, Greene held leadership roles in the private, government, and education sectors. Most recently, he was a member of the general faculty at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he served in various capacities, including center director, and oversaw research and programs related to applied economic development such as the Program in Science, Technology and Innovation Policy and the Center for Manufacturing Information Technology.
Currently, Greene is on the board of directors of the International Economic Development Council and is a member of the Southern Economic Development Council and the Georgia Economic Developers Association, for which he previously served as chairman. Greene’s community engagement includes serving on the Board of Visitors for Georgia Regents University, the board of directors of the Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students (GEEARS) and a founding member of the Lorde-Rustin Giving Circle.
Greene is a graduate of the 2011 class of Leadership Atlanta, 2009 Leadership Georgia, and 2003 Buckhead Business Association Leadership Development programs. In 2002, he obtained the Certified Economic Developer designation (CEcD). Greene earned a bachelor’s degree in English and American literature and language from Harvard University, a master of arts degree in human resources management from Washington University, and a master’s degree in public administration from Georgia State University. He has completed executive education programs at Universidad ESAN (Lima, Peru) and Stanford Graduate School of Business.
The Honorable Dr. Erica Groshen
Bureau of Labor Statistics
U.S. Department of Labor
Erica L. Groshen became the 14th Commissioner of Labor Statistics in January 2013. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) of the U.S. Department of Labor is the principal Federal statistical agency responsible for measuring labor market activity, working conditions, and price changes in the economy. Its mission is to collect, analyze, and disseminate essential economic information to support public and private decision-making.
Prior to joining BLS, Dr. Groshen was a Vice President in the Research and Statistics Group at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Her research has focused on labor markets over the business cycle, wage rigidity and dispersion, regional economics, the male-female wage differential, and the role of employers in labor market outcomes. She also served on advisory boards for BLS and the U.S. Census Bureau.
Dr. Groshen has also served as an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, a visiting assistant professor of economics at Barnard College at Columbia University and a visiting economist at the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland. Dr. Groshen earned a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University and a bachelor's degree in economics and mathematics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
George Harben, CEcD, CCR
Director, Existing Business
Prince William County Department of Economic Development
In June 2011, George N. Harben joined the Prince William County Department of Economic Development. In his current position, Mr. Harben works with local businesses on retention and expansion issues.
Prior to coming to Prince William County Mr. Harben was the vice president of the Greater Paducah Economic Development Council, KY. In this position he managed new and existing business projects, secured two Delta Regional Authority grants, maintained the site and building database, and developed an aggressive outreach program to site consultants.
Previously Mr. Harben managed the South Carolina Department of Commerce Research Division from 1999-2003. The division housed project research, target marketing, GIS system, sites and buildings database, and site certification. Accomplishments include substantially revising and enhancing the existing labor profile, converting the Industrial Directory from paper to an electronic version, producing in depth target marketing analysis and collateral data.
Mr. Harben served for four and a half years as the Director of Research for the Virginia Economic Development Partnership. The division housed the project research, sites and building database, and target marketing. During his tenure, the division was reorganized to prioritize project response and initiated a comprehensive target marketing program.
Mr. Harben previously worked for the South Carolina Department of Commerce from 1989-1994 as the Associate Manager of Project Research and later as manager. Mr. Harben was the lead in Research for the BMW and the Mercedes-Benz projects.
In 1997 Mr. Harben earned the Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) designation from the International Economic Development Council. He earned the Council for Community and Economic Research (formerly ACCRA) Certified Community Researcher (CCR) designation in 2003.
Director of Government Relations and Legislative Affairs
National Association of Development Organizations
Susan Howard currently serves as the Director of Government Relations and Legislative Affairs for the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) where she is responsible for Legislative and Executive Branch outreach, advocacy of NADO’s legislative priorities, and policy development.
Before joining NADO, Susan served as the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s Federal Legislative Programs Coordinator. In that role, she managed the department’s federal legislative program, working closely with the North Carolina Congressional delegation and various transportation coalitions to advance federal funding and policy goals in annual and supplemental appropriations bills and reauthorization of surface transportation programs.
Prior to that, Ms. Howard was a Legislative Assistant to Rep. David Price (NC-4), for whom she handled transportation, energy, and environmental appropriations and policy issues.
A native of Greensboro, NC, she holds a B.A. in political science from Guilford College. She resides in Washington, D.C. with her family.
Assistant Chief for Goods and Services Trade
Bureau of Economic Analysis, Balance of Payments Division
Public Affairs Specialist
U.S. Trade and Development Agency
Anna Humphrey serves as the Strategic Communications Manager at the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, where she leads outreach efforts that amplify the Agency’s success in linking U.S. companies to global infrastructure opportunities. Ms. Humphrey advises the Agency’s Director on messaging for speeches and Congressional hearings, directs the development of the Agency’s budget requests and annual publications, and develops communications strategies for priority Administration initiatives, including Power Africa and the Climate Action Plan.
Prior to joining USTDA, Ms. Humphrey was a Management Analyst reporting directly to the Chief Information Officer at the White House. In this role, she synthesized complex technical information into comprehensible summaries, facilitating decision-making by White House leaders and other non-technical staff.
Ms. Humphrey was also a Senior Consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton, providing communications and programmatic support to defense clients, including the Pentagon’s Chief Technology Officer.
Ms. Humphrey, a native of Lexington, Kentucky, graduated with honors from the University of Dayton.
Michael K. Jackson, MBA, CGBP
Director, City/State Partners
Export-Import Bank of the United States
Mr. Michael K. Jackson currently serves as the Director of City/State Partners at the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank), an independent agency of the federal government. In this role, he creates and manages marketing partnerships with local, state, and regional economic development organizations across the nation to expand export opportunities for small businesses. He is also responsible for conducting training seminars and participating in various marketing outreach activities to educate U.S. exporters, foreign buyers and multipliers about Ex-Im Bank's programs. In addition to his duties at Ex-Im Bank, the Mr. Jackson is also an adjunct faculty member at Montgomery College where he instructs a course on small business exporting.
Immediately prior to joining Ex-Im Bank, Mr. Jackson served as the District International Trade Officer at the Small Business Administration's (SBA) Baltimore District Office where he conducted export-focused training workshops and seminars for SMEs, financial institutions, trade associations and economic development organizations. He also advised and assisted SMEs interested in beginning to export or expanding into new foreign markets.
Prior to beginning his career with the federal government, Mr. Jackson held sales and marketing positions with several large corporations in the banking and ICT industries. He is also a former small business owner. Mr. Jackson is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and served in Ramstein, Germany and Warner Robins, Georgia.
Mr. Jackson earned an MBA in International Business from American Intercontinental University in Atlanta, GA and a B.S. in Government & Politics from the University of Maryland - University College Europe in Heidelberg, Germany. He also holds the NASBITE Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP) international trade certification. Mr. Jackson is a member of NASBITE International, the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD) and the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).
Executive Director and Head of Global Cities, Global Philanthropy
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.
Mr. Peter Kaldes is JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s first Executive Director and Head of Global Cities and manages the firm’s Global Cities Initiative, a $15 million investment in equipping city leaders with the practical knowledge, policy ideas and networks needed to compete in the global economy. Peter joined JPMorgan from the Obama Administration, where he served as Director for International Economics at the White House and also advised the Secretary of Commerce on international trade and investment policies. Before joining the Administration, Peter was Legislative Counsel to U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, advising on international trade, foreign affairs and defense matters. Previously, Peter practiced law as a Senior Associate in the International Trade and Arbitration Group at the global firm of Weil, Gotshal, and Manges, LLP. He began his career in at the U.S. Department of Commerce, where he represented the United States before international tribunals and domestic courts on international trade matters. Peter graduated from Tufts University with a Bachelors of Arts in International Relations, received his law degree from the University of Pittsburgh and speaks Greek and German.
Andy Van Kleunen
Chief Executive Officer
National Skills Coalition
Minneapolis Saint Paul Regional Economic Development Partnership
Saint Paul, MN
Michael Langley is the founding CEO of GREATER MSP, the Minneapolis Saint Paul Regional Economic Development Partnership. GREATER MSP leads global promotion, regional strategy, and project management for economic growth and job creation in the Minneapolis Saint Paul region, with over three million residents and a Gross Metropolitan Product of over $200 Billion. He brings years of experience to the role as a widely recognized economic development strategist who has also led successful regional economic development organizations in Florida and Pennsylvania.
Michael’s award winning work as a practitioner includes his leadership as CEO of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, often regarded as a globally leading organizational model for regional economic development, regional advocacy, and public policy research. It also includes the founding of Langley Group, a national economic development consulting firm focused on regional best practices and economic growth strategies, where Michael served as President.
Prior to becoming an economic development practitioner, Michael led a successful corporate career, spent primarily in the technology sector working in leadership positions for a number of Westinghouse/CBS divisions, including serving as President and CEO of Westinghouse Audio Intelligence Devices, Inc., a world leader in wireless surveillance technology.
A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Mike also earned a MS in information systems from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. He served as a Navy pilot with more than 5,000 hours of flight and crew time on surveillance and intelligence missions worldwide and as a technology analyst on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations. He has also been awarded an honorary doctorate in Humanities by American Intercontinental University for his work in community improvement.
American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
In his role as Policy Director, Joung Lee provides leadership and oversight for AASHTO's transportation policy, regulatory, and program finance activities. Working with Congress, executive branch agencies, and transportation industry stakeholders, Joung represents the policy interests of state departments of transportation during development, passage, and implementation of legislation. In addition, he oversees AASHTO technical service programs in the areas of environment, finance, planning, transit, and rail. Prior to joining AASHTO in 2007, Joung held transportation planner and analyst positions between 2000 and 2007 with the Federal Highway Administration.
Joung is founder of Young Professionals in Transportation, a national networking organization for career development. In addition, he served as founding chair of the Young Members Council at the Transportation Research Board and as chairman of the Road Gang, a DC-based highway policy society founded in 1942. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia and the University of Pennsylvania.
Regina Lindsey, CEcD
Chief Development Officer and Vice President of Marketing and Public Affairs
Regina Lindsey is the chief development officer and vice president of marketing and public affairs for the Greenspoint District in Houston, Texas. The District was created by the State Legislature in 1991 at the request of commercial property owners and is funded through their assessments to provide services and improvements to ensure Greenspoint’s growth and prosperity. Lindsey joined the District in 2009 in the joint role of manager of Greens Bayou projects for the District and executive director of the Greens Bayou Corridor Coalition (GBCC), a 501(c)(3) organization supported by the District. With the Coalition, she led two delegations to Washington, D.C., to advocate funding for crucial flood remediation projects. In 2012, she relinquished her staff position with GBCC to head the District’s newly created Economic Development Department. She now lends her expertise to GBCC as a member of its Board of Directors and Public Policy Committee.
Lindsey led the Greenspoint District’s economic development strategic planning process and now manages the execution of that plan, which includes business attraction efforts focused on energy, logistics and technology. She also works to attract foreign direct investment to Greenspoint. In 2010, Lindsey earned the designation of Certified Economic Developer from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). She currently serves as Vice Chair on IEDC’s Public Policy Advisory Committee.
Active in economic development efforts across the region, Lindsey works closely with the Greater Houston Partnership’s economic development team to attract business to the region. She is on the Board of Directors for the North Houston Economic Development Council and a member of
the North Harris Economic Development Alliance.
Previously, Lindsey served as executive director for the Silsbee Economic Development Corporation, with responsibility for developing relationships and marketing strategies to attract business to the area. In addition, she was Silsbee’s mayor from 2003 to 2005. Before her roles in
Silsbee, she was the executive director of the Southeast Texas Arts Council in Beaumont, TX.
Lindsey graduated Summa Cum Laude from Lamar University in Beaumont, TX with a bachelor’s in History. She is also a graduate of Leadership North Houston and serves on the Board of Directors for that organization’s Alumni Association.
Lindsey resides in north Houston with her husband, Tracy. They are proud parents of daughters,
Kayla and Krista.
Linda Martin, CEcD
Grow Idaho Falls, Inc.
Idaho Falls, ID
Barry Matherly, CEcD
Senior Vice President, Business Development
Greater Richmond Partnership
Barry I. Matherly is a certified economic developer with over 20 years of leadership experience at the city, county, regional and university levels.
Currently, Barry is Senior Vice President at the Greater Richmond Partnership, a public/private regional organization that is the single point of contact for domestic and international businesses looking to locate or expand in the Richmond Virginia Region.
Previously, he was the executive director of the Lincoln Economic Development Association in North Carolina, the Director of Economic Development for the communities of Goochland and Pulaski, Virginia and the Special Projects Manager at the Economic Development Assistance Center at Virginia Tech University.
Mr. Matherly has a bachelor’s degree from James Madison University and a master’s degree from Virginia Tech University. He is also a graduate of the Economic Development Institute at the University of Oklahoma and a recipient of the Robert B. Cassell Leadership Award.
Barry serves on the Governance Committee of the International Economic Development Council Board and is the chair of its Planning and Business Development Committee. Barry also serves of the Executive Board of the Economic Development Institute at the University of Oklahoma and is chair of the Special Projects and International Committee.
Barry Matherly was named one of the 40 Leaders Under 40 (2002) by the Charlotte Business Journal, recognized as a North Carolina Main Street Champion, designated as a Fellow Member by IEDC and is a Senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum.
Dallas County Community College District
Roderick McDavis, PhD
Dr. Roderick McDavis is the 20th and current President of Ohio University, located in Athens, Ohio. Dr. McDavis has more than 35 years of service in higher education. Since becoming president in 2004, McDavis has focused on increasing diversity and enhancing academic opportunities for high achieving students that might not otherwise have the opportunity to receive a college education. McDavis also has sought to focus efforts on enhancing the university's reputation as an institution of academic excellence. OU's College of Business earned a spot on Business Week's 2009 list of the top 50 undergraduate business programs in the nation. We are excited to hear Dr. McDavis's insight into the job-driven future of workforce development.
Kenny McDonald, CEcD
Chief Economic Officer
Kenny McDonald, CEcD, serves as the primary leader of all economic development and business attraction efforts for the 11-county Columbus Region in his position as chief economic officer of Columbus 2020. McDonald has an extensive background in site selection, regional economic development, community marketing, business recruitment and international business development.
He holds the professional designation of Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) and serves as an elected member of the Board of Directors for the International Economic Development Council. In addition, McDonald serves locally on the boards of Columbus Crew, MidAmerican Global Ventures, NAIOP, SciTech and Transportation Research Center.
Previously, McDonald served as the executive vice president of the Charlotte Regional Partnership, a public-private economic development organization covering a 16-county region in North and South Carolina. McDonald's 16 years of economic development experience also include leadership positions at the Albuquerque Economic Development Corporation, Fluor Daniels Global Locations Strategies and the Savannah Economic Development Authority. McDonald received a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Dickinson State University and a Master of Public Administration from Georgia Southern University.
McDonald writes weekly about economic development and Columbus 2020's activities on the Columbus Region blog, Economic Development Matters.
National League of Cities
Christiana McFarland is Program Director for Finance and Economic Development in the Center for Research and Innovation at the National League of Cities. The Finance and Economic Program is a national resource providing guidance and assistance to municipal officials by identifying and sharing innovative local practices, building networks of local officials working on similar issues and concerns, and conducting research on the key challenges facing municipalities. Her professional interests include small business development and entrepreneurship, retail and downtown redevelopment, municipal finance, and local and regional economic governance. Ms. McFarland also serves as the manager of NLC’s research program.
She has published or co-published scholarly and applied works on these topics, as well as presented at national conferences, including Urban Affairs Association, New Partners for Smart Growth, Association of American Geographers and the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials. She graduated from the George Washington University with a BA in political science with a concentration in public policy and economics (2001) and with an MPP in policy analysis and research with a concentration in urban policy (2002). She is currently working toward her PhD in Planning, Policy and Governance at Virginia Tech.
Associate Legislative Director-Transportation
National Association of Counties
Jessica Monahan is the associate legislative director for transportation policy at the National Association of Counties (NACo). In her current position, Mrs. Monahan handles NACo’s transportation policy portfolio, which encompasses all modes, and she staffs NACo’s Transportation Steering Committee. Prior to joining NACo in 2013, she worked with local governments, universities and transit authorities on an array of federal policy and regulatory matters.
Senior Fellow and Policy Director
Metropolitan Policy Program The Brookings Institution
Mark Muro, a fellow and the director of policy at the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings, manages the program's public policy analysis and leads key policy research projects. Mark’s most recent publications include: “Fiscal Challenges Facing Cities: Implications for Recovery;“ “Implementing ARRA: Innovations in Design in Metropolitan America,” and “Metro Potential in ARRA: An Early Assessment of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.” Previous to those releases Muro published “Energy Discovery-Innovation Institutes: A Step Toward America’s Energy Sustainability” and “MetroPolicy: Shaping a New Federal Partnership for a Metropolitan Nation.” Mark was also a co-author with Rob Lang of the 2008 Brookings report, “Mountain Megas: America’s Newest Metropolitan Places and a Federal Partnership to Help Them Prosper.” Each of these represents a key element of the metro program’s Blueprint for American Prosperity initiative, the policy series and policy development of which Mark has led. Mark is also the author of such recent publications as “Reconnecting Massachusetts’ Gateway Cities: Lessons Learned and an Agenda for Renewal;” “Charting Maine’s Future: An Action Plan for Promoting Sustainable Prosperity and a Sustainable Future;” and “Back to Prosperity: A Competitive Agenda for Renewing Pennsylvania.”
Prior to joining Brookings, Mark was a senior policy analyst at the Morrison Institute for Public Policy at Arizona State University. He has also been a staff writer for The Boston Globe and an editorial writer for The Arizona Daily Star. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard College and a master’s degree in American studies from the University of California, Berkeley.
Mark is also a member of the Citistates Group, a network of journalists, speakers and civic leaders focused on building competitive, equitable and sustainable 21st century metropolitan regions.
President & CEO
American Association of Port Authorities
Kurt Nagle has over 30 years of experience in Washington, DC, related to seaports and international trade. Since 1995, Mr. Nagle has served as President and Chief Executive Officer for the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA). Mr. Nagle began working at AAPA, the alliance of the leading public port authorities throughout the Western Hemisphere, in 1985.
Prior to joining AAPA, Mr. Nagle was Director of International Trade for the National Coal Association and Assistant Secretary for the Coal Exporters Association.
Previously, he worked in the Office of International Economic Research at the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Mr. Nagle serves on the Executive Committee of the Propeller Club of the United States and is a former commissioner of PIANC, the International Navigation Congress.
Mr. Nagle holds a Master's Degree in Economics from George Mason University.
Office of Economic Adjustment
United States Department of Defense
Deputy Chief Data Officer
U.S. Department of Commerce
President & CEO
Anchorage Economic Development Corporation
Bill Popp has spent more than 30 years in both the Alaska private and public sectors. As President & CEO of the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation, he sets the strategic direction in marketing Anchorage and Alaska to companies and global industries considering Anchorage as a place in which to do business and assists local businesses looking to expand outside of Alaska.
Prior to joining AEDC, Popp served as special assistant to Mayor John J. Williams of the Kenai Peninsula Borough (KPB) with a focus on oil and gas development. From 1996 to 2002, he held an elected position on the KPB Assembly and, in 2000, he presided over the Assembly as president. He also has private industry experience as a small business owner.
Popp has served as chairman of the KPB Economic Development Criteria Task Force; project coordinator of the Challenger Learning Center for Alaska; vice chairman of the Alaska Stranded Gas Act Municipal Advisory Group; co-chair of Governor Murkowski's Agrium Task Force; chair of the Kenai Peninsula Development Coalition; consultant for the British Columbia Provincial Government's Offshore Oil and Gas Team; and, member of the Cook Inlet Natural Gas Pipeline Terminus Group. He is currently a board member of the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, Anchorage Convention & Visitors Bureau and commissioner member for the Anchorage School District Education & Workforce Advisory Commission.
Chief, 504 Program Branch, OFA
U.S. Small Business Administration
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Capital Markets
U.S. Department of the Treasury
Devashree Saha, PhD
Senior Policy Analyst & Associate Fellow
Brookings Institution, Metropolitan Policy Program
Devashree Saha is a senior policy analyst and associate fellow at the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program. Her research primarily focuses on the intersection of clean energy and economic development policy, including the transition to a clean energy economy. Prior to joining Brookings, Saha worked at the National Governors Association, where her work spanned clean energy, transportation, and land use planning issues. She holds a Ph.D. in public policy from the University of Texas at Austin and a master’s in political science from Purdue University.
Director of Design Programs, Visual Arts Team Leader
National Endowment for the Arts
Jason Schupbach is the Director of Design Programs for the National Endowment for the Arts, where he oversees all design and creative placemaking grantmaking and partnerships, including Our Town and Design Art Works grants, the Mayor’s Institute on City Design, the Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design, and the NEA's involvement in the HUD Sandy Recovery Taskforce Rebuild by Design Competition. Previous to his current position, Jason served as the Creative Economy and Information Technology Industry Director for Massachusetts. In that job he focused on the nexus of creativity, innovation and technology to grow the innovation industries cluster in the state. He formerly was the director of ArtistLink, a Ford Foundation initiative to stabilize and revitalize communities through the creation of affordable space and innovative environments for creatives. He has also worked for the Mayor of Chicago and New York City’s Department of Cultural Affairs.
Associate Director for Innovation and Industry Services
Office of the Director
National Institute of Standards and Technology
US Department of Commerce
Phillip Singerman serves as Associate Director for Innovation and Industry Services at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). In this capacity he is responsible for the NIST suite of external partnership programs, including the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership, the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, NIST technology transfer and small business innovation research awards, economic analysis, and technology innovation.
The position of Associate Director was established in October 2010 as part of the first major realignment of NIST programs in 20 years; Dr. Singerman was appointed to this position in January 2011. Immediately prior to joining NIST, he was a Senior Vice President at B&D Consulting, a DC-based firm providing strategic advice and technical assistance on federal economic development programs to non-profit organizations, local governments, and universities. Previously he was a managing director of a $120 million seed stage venture fund that invested in biotechnology.
Dr. Singerman has more than 30 years of experience in tech based economic development; he was the first chief executive of two of the best known public-private partnerships, the Ben Franklin Technology Center of Southeastern Pennsylvania and the Maryland Technology Development Corporation. During the Clinton Administration he served as U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development, a Presidential appointment requiring Senate confirmation.
Dr. Singerman has participated on scores of local, state, and national advisory boards and associations, including the State Science and Technology Institute (SSTI), the Technology Council of Maryland (TCM), the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), NGA’s Advisory Committee on Entrepreneurial Policy, NSF’s Small Business Advisory Committee, the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Association (PBA), the Strengthening America’s Communities Initiative Advisory Committee, and the Editorial Board of the Economic Development Quarterly. He was the 2011 recipient of IEDC's Federal Leadership in Economic Development Award.
Dr. Singerman received his bachelors degree from Oberlin College and holds a doctorate from Yale University. He has taught at Yale College, Barnard College (Columbia University), and the Fels Institute of Government (University of Pennsylvania). After graduating from college he served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Colombia, South America, working in rural community development projects.
Dr. Singerman is a co-author of “Beyond Recovery: Moving the Gulf Coast Toward a Sustainable Future” (February 2011), published by the Center for American Progress and Oxfam America, and the “Handbook on Climate Prosperity” (May 2009), published by the International Economic Development Council.
Derieth Sutton, CEcD, EDFP
Economic Development & Governmental Relations Manager
Niagara Bottling, LLC
Derieth L. Sutton handles Economic Development & Government Relations for Niagara Bottling, LLC, the largest family-owned and operated bottled water manufacturer in the United States. Sutton brings over 22 years of public and private sector experience to that position.
Prior to joining Niagara, Sutton served as the Lake County Regional Director for the Metro Orlando EDC where she worked recruitment, expansion and retention projects within the Orlando region. Her experience in economic development can be traced back to positions held with the Kansas Lottery, the Kansas Department of Commerce & Housing, and the City of Kansas City, KS. She has also worked as the Economic Development Specialist for the City of Palm Bay, the Business Development Coordinator for the City of Fort Pierce and Director of Economic Development for Worcester County (MD) Government.
In her current position, Sutton is responsible for both new and existing domestic and international plant expansions, establishing and maintaining cooperative relationships with governmental partners and the implementation of incentive opportunities that ultimately position the company for growth while reducing operational costs. She also coordinates community initiatives for 13 plants across the country which help introduce the company to the respective communities and allow the Niagara to give back to those with the greatest need. Her work at Niagara has led to the expansion of nine of the company’s 13 plants—which equates to a capital investment of over $650 million and the creation of over 600 jobs since 2008.
Sutton has earned a bachelor of art degree in electronic journalism from the University of Oklahoma and a master of science in public administration from Lacrosse University. Her commitment to the process of economic development is evident through her active membership in the industry’s leading professional association—the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). Sutton is a member of IEDC’s Public Policy Advisory Committee (PPAC), PPAC’s Workforce Development sub-committee and IEDC’s Mentoring Program. She has also served as a volunteer through IEDC’s Economic Recovery Volunteer Program which provided counseling and technical assistance to businesses adversely impacted by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. She is an avid supporter of IEDC’s Certification Process and serves as an instructor for IEDC’s Certification Prep Course which is taught at OU EDI.
Sutton is a Leadership Lake County class of 2002 graduate and has worked over the years with the Greater Umatilla Historical Society, the Umatilla Community Development Block Grant Review Committee, the Lake-Sumter Community College Cooperative Education Advisory Board and the Lake County Advisory Board for Community, Secondary and Vo-Tech Education. She is also one of four individuals instrumental in the creation of a Business Assistance Center that serves entrepreneurs and growing businesses in Lake and Sumter counties. She also participates in the Manufacturers’ Council of the Inland Empire and is committed to supporting programs that invest in the enhancement of skill sets for employees.
Melanie Jones Totman
Melanie Jones Totman is an associate with Venable’s Government Contracts team where she provides clients with legal advice related to both federal and state procurement law, including complex compliance matters under the Federal Acquisition Regulation, the Office of Management and Budget Circulars, and various state procurement laws and grant regulations. She generally advises clients on small business, False Claims Act, and mandatory disclosure issues. Ms. Totman has broad experience in the defense of audits by various Offices of Inspector General, federal agencies, and the Defense Contract Audit Agency. She represents clients in a variety of bid protests before the United States Government Accountability Office and the United States Court of Federal Claims. Some of Ms. Totman’s work includes:
• Representing clients in responding to qui tam and other whistleblower allegations of civil and criminal False Claims Act violations.
• Investigating internal allegations of false claims related to complex contractual relationships and cost data.
• Defending large contractors, nonprofit organizations, and state agencies awarded federal grant funds in audits before the Offices of Inspectors General for the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
• Successfully challenging and defending small business size determinations before the United States Small Business Administration, Office of Hearings & Appeals. Size Appeals of BA Urban Solutions, et al., SBA No. SIZ-5521 (2013); Size Appeal of GPA Technologies, Inc., SBA No. SIZ-5307 (2011).
Immediately prior to joining Venable, Ms. Totman served as the judicial law clerk to Judge Christine O.C. Miller of the United States Court of Federal Claims. She also served as the judicial law clerk to Chief Judge Joyce Bihary of the United States Bankruptcy Court in the Northern District of Georgia.
Acting Assistant Secretary for Career, Technical & Adult Education
U.S. Department of Education
Johan E. Uvin joined the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) in December 2009 as senior policy advisor to Assistant Secretary Brenda Dann-Messier. In 2011, Uvin was appointed to the position of deputy assistant secretary for policy and strategic initiatives. In that capacity, he coordinates all policy and strategy development for OCTAE. This office is responsible for the Department's adult education portfolio, including corrections and reentry education, secondary, postsecondary and adult career and technical education, and community colleges.
In 2012, Uvin assumed additional responsibilities as the acting director of the Policy Research and Evaluation Services Division of OCTAE and the co-chair of the Interagency Forum on Disconnected Youth, a multi-agency federal collaboration to improve the outcomes of disconnected youths. Since 2010, he has also been a member of the steering committee of the Domestic Policy Council's New Americans Citizenship and Integration Initiative, which developed a framework for federal efforts on immigrant integration. Uvin further leads the Department's Pay for Success work and coordinates the Department's responsibilities related to the implementation of the Presidential Memorandum on Job-Driven Training. In May 2014, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan named Uvin acting assistant secretary for OCTAE.
Prior to his appointments at the Department, Uvin led the Rhode Island state office that oversees adult education, career and technical education, and GED testing. He also held several leadership positions in education and workforce development in both the public and private sectors.
Uvin holds a doctorate in administration, planning and social policy and a master's degree in international education from Harvard University. He also holds a Master of Arts in teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) from the School of International Training in Brattleboro, Vt.
Uvin is married to Alison Simmons and has two young adult twin sons. When not in D.C. he resides in Roslindale, Mass.
Office of the Under Secretary for Transportation Policy
U.S. Department of Transportation
Vinn White currently serves as Senior Policy Advisor for Transportation Policy at the US Department of Transportation, where he manages a host of special projects in the Office of the Under Secretary. Currently, Vinn is Secretary Foxx’s lead coordinator across the Department developing USDOT’s 30-Year Framework. This is a comparison and visioning exercise that analyzes the network over the last several decades, identifies trends and challenges shaping the current system, and outlines choices, options and decisions to be considered over the next 30 years.
Vinn has also managed other efforts on behalf of Secretaries LaHood and Foxx over the years. He has coordinated Administration interagency initiatives, including coordinating the Department's activities related to Hurricane Sandy rebuilding in the Northeast— a $13 billion dollar effort to repair and restore the region's infrastructure. During his time at the Department, Vinn has also served as USDOT’s member to White House interagency and multi-stakeholder programs related to Executive Orders 13602 (Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2)), 13604 (Modernizing Permitting and Infrastructure Project Review), and 13632 (Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force)—where he served as USDOT’s Task Force lead.
Previously, Vinn has served as Acting Deputy Chief of Staff to Secretary Foxx and he began his work at DOT in the Office of the Deputy Secretary, where he led USDOT activities involving several large-scale development projects, including rail activities related to the development and operation of multi-modal facilities in New York City and Washington, DC.
The Honorable Jay Williams
Assistant Secretary for Economic Development
Economic Development Administration, United States Department of Commerce
Jay Williams was appointed by President Obama to serve as the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development and was sworn into office on Tuesday, May 20, 2014.
As the Administrator of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA), Williams is charged with leading the federal economic development agenda by promoting innovation and competitiveness, preparing American regions for growth and success in the global economy.
Prior to joining the Department of Commerce, Jay served as the executive director of the Office of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers. In this capacity, he worked directly with state and local stakeholders in areas affected by the changing American automotive industry to deliver federal support to ensure they returned to better economic condition.
He also served in the White House as Deputy Director for the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs. In this position, he led efforts to engage mayors, city council members, and county officials around the country.
Williams served as the Mayor of Youngstown, Ohio from 2006 to August 1, 2011. During his tenure as Mayor of Youngstown, Williams led efforts that had a direct impact on improving the quality of life for the citizens of Youngstown.
Williams is the recipient of the 2007 John F. Kennedy New Frontier Award. The JFK Library Foundation, in conjunction with the Harvard University Institute of Politics, annually recognizes two exceptional young Americans- under the age of 40, whose contributions in elective office, community service or advocacy demonstrate the impact and value of public service in the spirit of President John F. Kennedy.
Prior to being elected, Williams spent five years as the Director of Community Development for the city. Before transitioning into public service, Williams enjoyed a distinguished career in banking, which included stints at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland and First Place Bank, as a vice president.
Assistant Secretary Williams was born and raised in Youngstown. He graduated from Youngstown State University with a B.S.B.A., majoring in finance.
Andrea Espinola Wilson
Managing Director, Grants Management Advisory Services
Andrea Wilson provides advisory services to government awardees and contractors on a wide range of organizational issues including compliance matters, cost allowability and recovery issues, cost accounting, procurement, and project management. Andrea has assisted organizations respond to changing regulatory requirements and governmental audit inquiries in complex global operating environments.
Andrea is an accomplished finance and operations advisor with more than 15 years of experience providing leadership and improving compliance, financial, procurement, logistics, operations, human resource, budgeting and project management systems. Her expertise is achieving superior performance by designing and implementing new operational systems and internal controls to reduce costs, increase information efficiencies, accuracy and compliance with USG policies and regulations.
Prior to consulting, Andrea held various senior level positions with international non-governmental and higher education institutions as well as an auditor with an international auditing firm. Andrea’s vast industry knowledge ensures that solutions are grounded in practical, operational experience.
Senior Advisor for Export Policy, Promotion and Strategy
International Trade Administrations, U.S. Department of Commerce
Ashley Zuelke serves as a senior advisor at the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration and leads policy development and promotion efforts to help more U.S. businesses export and reach international customers. Ashley coordinates Commerce and government-wide efforts to help more U.S. businesses increase exports, expand into new markets, and compete globally. Efforts Ashley leads on include the President's National Export Initiative, announced in 2010, and its next phase, “NEI/NEXT”, a strategy to help more U.S. businesses start exporting and expand exports through the delivery of focused assistance and information.
Ashley works closely with public and private sector partners across the United States to promote the benefits of exports and raise awareness of opportunities and services for exporters. Ashley also directs Commerce efforts under the “Made in Rural America” export and investment initiative, announced by President Obama in February 2014 as a charge for the Administration to bring together federal resources to help more rural businesses and leaders access new customers and markets abroad.
Ashley has served as a Presidential appointee at the Department of Commerce since 2010, starting as a legislative assistant in the Office of the Secretary and serving as a liaison for Congressional members and staff on trade promotion and policy. Prior to joining Commerce, Ashley served as an international trade associate at the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance under then-Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT). While at the Senate, she authored and designed a guide for rural Montana exporters. Ashley also has served in the economic section at the U.S. Embassy in Paris.
In addition to her government experience, Ashley has previously held several news editing and design positions, working as a copy editor for the Tacoma News Tribune through the Dow Jones Newspaper Fund and establishing the design concept for a startup magazine promoting history and conservation efforts in Glacier National Park and surrounding areas. Born in Helena, Montana, Ashley graduated summa cum laude from the University of Montana with degrees in journalism, international relations, and comparative politics. She lives with her husband in Washington, D.C.