University of Michigan Gateway Ford School

Panel Discussion: Michigan's Economy in 2009 and Beyond

Monday, February 9, 2009, 4:00–5:30pm

Annenberg Auditorium
1120 Joan and Sanford Weill Hall
735 South State Street, Ann Arbor


John Austin

John Austin is Director of the New Economy Initiative for Southeast Michigan, and Vice-President of the Michigan State Board of Education. On the Board he has led Michigan's successful efforts to put in place some of the most ambitious and comprehensive academic learning, school, and teacher improvement efforts in the country. At the New Economy Initiative, Mr. Austin leads a $100 million dollar effort to aid the transformation of the region's economy. In addition, Mr. Austin is a Nonresident Senior Fellow with the Brookings Institution where he recently spearheaded the Great Lakes Economic Initiative to improve the economic vitality of the Great Lakes states.

In 2004, Mr. Austin also served as Policy Director for Michigan's Governor-appointed Commission on Higher Education and Economic Growth (the Cherry Commission) and was principal author of the Commission's report. He also coauthored the influential report Revitalizing Michigan Cities, with Michigan Future, Inc. that led to Michigan's Cool Cities initiative, and has helped Michigan's Department of Labor and Economic Development to reshape Michigan's economic, workforce and urban development agenda. Mr. Austin has worked with Michigan city and state government, federal agencies and officials, as well as foundations, corporations and labor organizations on a wide variety of public policy issues.

Early in his career Mr. Austin served as President of the Flint Roundtable, a multi-sector CEO leadership organization in Genesee County, Michigan focused on regional education reform, where he developed nationally recognized education programs. In addition he was chairman of the Genesee County Road Commission.

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Event Information

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University of Michigan Gateway Ford School Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy