Ryan Donahue

Ryan Donahue

Nonresident Fellow – Brookings Metro

Ryan Donahue is an expert in regional economic development strategy. His work focuses on helping coalitions of regional organizations develop and implement strategies to generate inclusive and sustainable growth. As both an independent consultant and through his work at Brookings Metro, Donahue has advised more than 50 organizations nationwide, including public-private economic development organizations, city and state agencies, community organizations, philanthropies, CEO groups, and industry organizations.   

Donahue’s experience includes applied research and strategy projects in areas such as inclusive growth, industry cluster development, innovation and entrepreneurship, the green economy, global trade and investment, metrics and indicators, and the design of regional economic development systems. Donahue has helped design and manage several major Brookings Metro engagements, including the New Industrial Policy Implementers Network, the Birmingham Prosperity Partnership, the Inclusive Economic Development Lab, and the Global Cities Exchange.  

Donahue has co-authored numerous Brookings reports that synthesize lessons from these engagements and highlight emerging practices from across the U.S. His publications include “Institutionalizing inclusive growth: Rewiring systems to rebuild local economies,” “Rethinking Cluster Initiatives,” and “Committing to inclusive growth: Lessons for metro areas from the Inclusive Economic Development Lab. 

Previously, Donahue was research director at the Trust for Public Land.  

He currently lives in the Seattle area with his wife and two young children. 


Donahue graduated from the University of Puget Sound with a bachelor’s degree in international political economy and French.  

  • Current Positions

    • Principal, RM Donahue Consulting
  • Past Positions

    • Project Analyst,
    • Senior Policy/Research Assistant, Brookings Metro
    • Senior Program Associate, The Trust for Public Land
  • Education

    • B.A. in International Political Economy, University of Puget Sound (summa cum laude)
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