Economic Development News & Insight


Brian Kelsey

Brian Kelsey

Brian Kelsey has been doing research and leading projects for economic developers and their private sector partners since 2000. As a senior policy advisor at the U.S. Economic Development Administration in Washington during 2010-2011, Kelsey engineered the Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge, a $37 million grant program that pooled resources from 16 federal agencies to accelerate regional innovation and job creation. Highlighted by the Center for American Progress as a “compelling answer to the issue of unemployment,” the Jobs Accelerator is expected to result in 4,800 new jobs, 4,000 trained workers, and $69 million in new private investment. Prior to joining EDA, Kelsey served for five years as Director of Economic Development at the Capital Area Council of Governments, where he managed the region’s comprehensive economic development strategy. Kelsey has also worked for the Council on Competitiveness, the Sonoma County Economic Development Board, and the Center for Transportation Research. Kelsey is co-author of Measuring Regional Innovation and his analysis has appeared in the Austin American-Statesman, Austin Business Journal, Wall Street Journal, Global Corporate Xpansion, and Economic Development Now. The Aspen Institute named him a 2011 Aspen Ideas Festival Scholar for his work in regional economic development. Kelsey earned a master’s degree in public affairs from The University of Texas at Austin and a bachelor’s degree in economics and history from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa with highest distinction. In addition to Civic Analytics, Kelsey teaches a class on sustainable economic development at The University of Texas at Austin and is co-founder of the Redback Report, which covers Texas politics and economics. He lives with his family in Austin, but will always be a Tar Heel. Twitter: @brianjkelsey

Articles Posted by Brian Kelsey

Measuring the skills gap

We may be turning a corner on the skills gap debate. Following Peter Cappelli’s excellent book, Why Good People Can’t Get Jobs: The Skills Gap and More...

Tea Party trouble for economic developers?

The cognitive dissonance on display this election cycle about the government’s role in the economy is astounding. For economic developers, especially in conservative states, that More...