Guest Profiles

Jeff Finkle

President/CEO, International Economic Development Council, Washington, D.C., United States

Jeff Finkle is a recognized leader and authority on economic development. With the formation of the International Economic Development Council in 2001 following the merger of the Council for Urban Economic Development – where he was president for 15 years – and the American Economic Development Council, Jeff set the course for a more effective and influential organization. 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. He frequently lectures and authors articles.

Anabel González

Deputy Director-General, World Trade Organization, Switzerland

Anabel González is Deputy Director-General with the World Trade Organization. A renowned global expert on trade, investment, and economic development, Ms. González was a non-resident senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. As former Senior Director of the World Bank´s Global Practice on Trade & Competitiveness, she led the Bank´s agenda on trade, investment climate, competitiveness, innovation, and entrepreneurship to expand market opportunities, enable private initiative, and develop dynamic economies. She previously served as Minister of Trade of Costa Rica. Anabel holds a master’s degree in international trade law and policy from Georgetown University and a law degree from the University of Costa Rica.

Dr. Fred Treyz

CEO & Chief Economist, Regional Economic Models, Inc. Washington, D.C., United States

Dr. Frederick R. Treyz is the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Economist at Regional Economic Models, Inc. (REMI), a leading provider of dynamic economic and demographic modeling software and consulting. He is an authority on analyzing public policies and their regional macroeconomic and population impacts. Under Dr. Treyz’s leadership, REMI has shaped public policy debates by helping clients evaluate economic development, transportation, energy, immigration reform, and other topics. Dr. Treyz has overseen the research and development of REMI’s suite of regional policy models, and has academic publications in leading journals. He holds an A.B. in Economics from Princeton University and a Ph.D. in Regional Science from the University of Pennsylvania.

Roger E. Barton

Managing Partner of Barton LLP in New York

Roger E. Barton is the Managing Partner of Barton LLP in New York. He applies his management expertise and over 30 years of experience to leading a firm that is dedicated to providing its clients with quality and results through a practical and business-minded approach. He has been rated by The American Lawyer, Corporate Counsel Magazine and the National Law Journal as one of the Top Commercial Litigators in the United States and has an “AV Preeminent” peer review rating in Martindale, the highest rating in the legal profession for professional excellence and ethical standards. He is a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, the invitation-only trial lawyer honorary society limited to less than one-half of one percent of lawyers in America.

Michael Vrontamitis

Lead Industry Principal, Lending Business Unit, Finastra, United Kingdom

Michael Vrontamitis is the Lead Industry Principal for Finastra’s Lending Business Unit which covers Cash Management, Trade and Working Capital Management, Retail and Corporate Lending. He also advises several start-ups, including Kountable Inc, and is a member of the World Trade Board. A renowned industry thought leader, he is particularly passionate about the intersection between sustainability, technology, and finance and the impact digitalization can have in narrowing the trade finance gap and enabling sustainable supply chains. Prior to Finastra, Michael spent 25 years with Standard Chartered, spanning both wholesale and retail clients, as well as investor relations, working in Hong Kong, London and Singapore. Mr. Vrontamitis has a degree and Master’s in Economics from the University of Warwick.

Dr. Richard Florida

Professor, Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto and Distinguished Fellow at NYU’s School of Professional Studies

Dr. Richard Florida is one of the world’s leading urbanists. He is a researcher and professor, serving as University Professor at University of Toronto’s School of Cities and Rotman School of Management and a Distinguished Fellow at NYU and Florida International University. Dr. Florida has held professorships at George Mason University and Carnegie Mellon University and taught as a visiting professor at Harvard and MIT. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University and his Ph.D. from Columbia University. His research provides unique, data-driven insight into the social, economic, and demographic factors that drive the 21st century world economy.

Rodrick Miller

Chief Executive Officer, Invest Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico

Rodrick Miller is the Chief Executive Officer at Invest Puerto Rico. Before that, he was President/CEO with Ascendant Global. Prior to Ascendant Global, Mr. Miller was President/CEO of the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation. Mr. Miller also served as the founding President/CEO of the New Orleans Business Alliance. He holds a Master of Public Policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and a Bachelor of Science degree in international business from St. Augustine’s College. He is also a Fulbright Fellow. With numerous accolades under his belt, Mr. Miller is one of the foremost economic development leaders in the United States.

Dr. Rachel Dodds

Professor, Ted Rogers School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada

Dr. Rachel Dodds is a Professor at the Ted Rogers School of Hospitality and Tourism Management as well as past Director of the Hospitality and Tourism Research Institute, opens in new window. Rachel has over 25 years of tourism experience working with tour operators, destination management companies, accommodation facilities, festivals and non profit organizations and still works actively with industry in her role as a consultant to help the tourism industry more sustainable. Rachel holds a PhD from the University of Surrey in the UK and a Master’s degree from Australia. She has lived and worked in four continents and travelled to over 80 countries.

Dr. David Wilson

Chair, Economic Development New Zealand & Managing Director, Cities and Regions Ltd, New Zealand

Dr. David Wilson is Managing Director, Cities and Regions Limited, Auckland, New Zealand. Prior to that, he was Chief Executive Officer of Northland Inc, Northland’s Economic Development Agency, Fellow and Chair of Economic Development New Zealand and a member of the New Zealand Government’s Independent Advisory Panel for its new Provincial Development Fund – a NZ$1 Billion/annum fund designed to lift productivity ‘in the regions’. Dr. Wilson holds a BA in Psychology and Social Policy, a Master’s in Public Policy with first class honours, and a PhD in Governance and Regional Economic Development. He was previously Director of the Institute of Public Policy at the Auckland University of Technology.

Tracye McDaniel

President, TIP Strategies and Founder, McDaniel Strategies Ecosystem, Texas, United States

As President of TIP Strategies, Inc., Tracye McDaniel brings a global perspective to local strategies. She has led marketing efforts in over 51 countries. Tracye is a trusted advisor to CEOs, nonprofits, public organizations, and private enterprises. Prior to joining TIP, Ms. McDaniel was the founder and CEO of McDaniel Strategy Ecosystems. She has served as President/CEO of the Texas Economic Development Corporation and TexasOne. Before that, Tracye was founding CEO of Choose New Jersey. Tracye also served in the role of Executive Vice President and COO with Opportunity Houston at the Greater Houston Partnership. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Communications from the University of Texas at Austin.

Dr. John Mollenkopf

Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Sociology and Director of the Center for Urban Research at the Graduate Center, City University of New York

Dr. John Mollenkopf is a Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Sociology and Director of the Center for Urban Research at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. With colleagues, he has authored or edited 18 books on urban politics, urban policy, and the role of race, ethnicity, and immigration in New York City. Prior to joining the Graduate Center in 1981, he directed the Economic Development Division of the New York City Department of City Planning and taught urban studies and public management at Stanford University. He received his PhD from Harvard and BA from Carleton College.

Ifor Ffowcs-Williams

CEO, Cluster Navigators Limited, New Zealand

Recognised globally as a leader in cluster-based economic development, Ifor Ffowcs-Williams draws on his experience in over 50 countries. Among others, his clients include the World Bank, IFC, OECD, UNIDO, UNDP, and EU. Ffowcs-Williams has also assisted national and regional economic development agencies on six continents. He is the Founder and Past President of TCI Network, the global organisation for cluster practitioners, where he currently serves on the Board of Advisors. He has served on the Advisory Boards of the Danish Cluster Academy, European Cluster Observatory, Indian Institute for Competitiveness, Pan African Competitiveness Forum, and Sintonia – Mexico’s competitiveness programme.

Dr. Herb Emery

Vaughan Chair in Regional Economics at the University of New Brunswick, Canada

Dr. Herb Emery is the Vaughan Chair in Regional Economics at the University of New Brunswick, Canada. An advisor to federal and provincial policymakers, Dr. Emery focuses his research on the development of the Canadian economy and the persistence of long-standing regional disparities. Aside from understanding the economic fundamentals of growth in a small open economy, Dr. Emery’s work incorporates political, historical, cultural, and other institutional factors that have shaped Canadian development processes. He holds an MA and PhD in Economics from the University of British Columbia. His academic career began at the University of Calgary where, from 1993 to 2016, he assembled a track record of demonstrated excellence in research, teaching, and leadership.

Roberta Dall’Olio

President, European Association of Regional Development Agencies, Italy

Roberta Dall’Olio is President of the European Association of Regional Development Agencies (EURADA) and Head of EU Policies for International Territorial Cooperation Social Innovation Unit where she oversees technical assistance to the Regional Government in International Cooperation and European Territorial Cooperation planning, programming, project management, capitalization, and evaluation. Roberta is a member of the Regional Working Group for International Relations where she oversees the coordination of social innovation projects and initiatives in ART-ER in close cooperation with the regional government and stakeholders. From 1984 to 1988, she oversaw the EU Unit of ASTER, Emilia-Romagna Agency for Technological Development. She is a graduate of Law from Bologna University, and holds a Master’s degree in European Union Policies. Ms. Dall’Olio is fluent in English, French, and Spanish.

Dr. Isaias Barreto da Rosa

CEO & Executive Chairman, Multisectoral Regulatory Agency of the Economy, Cape Verde

Dr. Isaias Barreto da Rosa is CEO & Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Multisectoral Regulatory Agency of the Economy, Cape Verde. Prior to his current role, he served as the first Commissioner in charge of Telecommunications and Information Technologies with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). In this capacity, he oversaw the development and deployment of policies as well as reliable and affordable Telecommunications, Postal, and ICT services for ECOWAS institutions and the West African subregion at large. He concluded his postdoctoral training at Tallinn University, Estonia, addressing the issue of enabling mobile access to digital libraries in digital divide environments. He holds a PhD in Education and Human Development from the University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

Rachel Loeb

Rachel Loeb oversees New York City Economic Development Corporation’s portfolio of projects focused on life sciences, land use, investments in infrastructure, and innovation. Highlights of her work to date include doubling the City’s investment to grow the life sciences industry to $1B and leading the City’s $200M 15-year Offshore Wind Plan to make NYC a global leader of this industry. Prior to joining NYCEDC, Rachel was a senior executive member of World Wide Group, overseeing all aspects and phases of the development process. Rachel is a graduate of Northwestern University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she earned a master’s in city planning.