Donald F. Smith, Jr., PhD, President
Don became RIDC’s President in 2009 and has helped position the organization as a model for the revitalization of communities. He is a nationally recognized expert in regional economic development and his wide variety of experience at the local, regional, state and national levels has made him a thought leader on how regions can use aging property assets to support innovative new industries and spur economic growth.
Over the course of his career, he has played a leading role in strategic economic development initiatives, including Investing In Pennsylvania’s Future in 1987, the Regional Economic Revitalization Initiative and formation of Innovation Works in 1998, The Pittsburgh Digital Greenhouse in 1999 and the Life Sciences Greenhouse in 2000.
Don also held the unique position of VP of Economic Development for both Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh – the first such collaboration between unaffiliated universities to advance regional economic development.
In Pittsburgh, Don is active in a number of boards and community activities, including serving as Vice Chairman of the Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny County, President of Board of NAIOP Pittsburgh, and the Steering Committee of the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance. He also serves as an advisor and a member of the adjunct faculty at Carnegie Mellon University.