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Ryan Donahue

Nonresident Fellow - Metropolitan Policy Program

Ryan Donahue is an expert in local and regional economic development as well as the design and management of complex cross-sector strategic planning processes. As both an independent consultant and in his work with the Metropolitan Policy Program, he has advised more than 30 city, county, regional, and state economic development agencies across the U.S.

His consulting experience includes applied research and strategy projects in areas such as inclusive growth, cluster development, innovation and entrepreneurship, exports and foreign direct investment, and the structure of economic development organizations and initiatives. He has helped design and manage several major initiatives for the Metropolitan Policy Program, including the Birmingham Prosperity Partnership, the Inclusive Economic Development Lab, and the Global Cities Initiative-Exchange. These projects have re-shaped the work of dozens of economic development agencies and catalyzed new partnerships with community development organizations, skills and workforce entities, and planning agencies.

Donahue has co-authored numerous Brookings reports and articles that synthesize lessons from these engagements and highlight emerging practices from across the U.S. These include “Rethinking Cluster Initiatives”, “Committing to Inclusive Growth”, and “Export Nation 2013”. ​ ​

Previously, Ryan was Research Director at the Trust for Public Land. He holds a B.A. in International Political Economy and French from the University of Puget Sound, and lives in Seattle.

Ryan Donahue is an expert in local and regional economic development as well as the design and management of complex cross-sector strategic planning processes. As both an independent consultant and in his work with the Metropolitan Policy Program, he has advised more than 30 city, county, regional, and state economic development agencies across the U.S.

His consulting experience includes applied research and strategy projects in areas such as inclusive growth, cluster development, innovation and entrepreneurship, exports and foreign direct investment, and the structure of economic development organizations and initiatives. He has helped design and manage several major initiatives for the Metropolitan Policy Program, including the Birmingham Prosperity Partnership, the Inclusive Economic Development Lab, and the Global Cities Initiative-Exchange. These projects have re-shaped the work of dozens of economic development agencies and catalyzed new partnerships with community development organizations, skills and workforce entities, and planning agencies.

Donahue has co-authored numerous Brookings reports and articles that synthesize lessons from these engagements and highlight emerging practices from across the U.S. These include “Rethinking Cluster Initiatives”, “Committing to Inclusive Growth”, and “Export Nation 2013”. ​ ​

Previously, Ryan was Research Director at the Trust for Public Land. He holds a B.A. in International Political Economy and French from the University of Puget Sound, and lives in Seattle.

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