Interview with Jeff Finkle, International Economic Development Council

For today’s expert interview with International Economic Development Council President and CEO Jeff Finkle we take you to Washington D.C, capital of the USA – a country with a long history of specialized economic development professionals, working for cities, regions and states.

Economic development is a key component of and often the main motivation behind initiatives aimed at building a strong, competitive place brand. It is a balancing act between stimulating economic growth and sustainable development. In his interview, Jeff Finkle tells us how 21st century economic development professionals tackle this and other challenges.

Learn about:

  • What economic development is all about;
  • How place management and place branding relate to economic development;
  • Whether economic development organizations are prepared for the ‘smart city’ challenge;
  • How to measure the success (ROI) of economic development initiatives;
  • 3 books every economic development professional should read.

Jeff, do you remember the first time you heard about economic development? What got you interested?

I think the first time that I heard the words, I was probably in college. The first time I understood the words, I was working for the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

As I have worked in the field of economic development over many years, I think I have learned that my life has been a microsim of intersections with the term.

I grew up in the rust belt and saw the closures of many factories. I saw people lose jobs as a result of a military base closure. My hometown community had a beautiful downtown and then it was not so beautiful anymore, but now it is coming back.

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The Editorial Team

Hi there, we hope you've found this article useful. Want to stay up to date on latest place branding insights, stories and examples? Sign up for our free email newsletter! You might also be interested in our services. Have a question or suggestion? Get in touch!