Kim Walesh rides a bicycle

Kim Walesh rides a PUBLIC Bike around San Jose, California. This Harvard grad is Director of Economic Development and Chief Strategist for the city of San Jose.

Kim Walesh oversees strategic planning, partnerships, and innovations for the City of San Jose, nation’s 10th largest city. She’s also a big fan of San Jose Bike Party.

Kim Walesh - city of San Jose economic development director

Kim joined the City in 2003 to lead development of San Jose’s first comprehensive economic strategy, and oversees implementation. She leads strategic initiatives related to university collaboration, downtown regeneration, business engagement, cultural development, and City identity. Kim assists the City’s elected and executive leadership in understanding and addressing issues that affect the City’s long-term success.

Prior to joining the City of San Jose, Kim was co-founder and managing director of Collaborative Economics, a Silicon Valley-based consultancy that works with business and civic leaders who want to build stronger economies and better communities. She is recognized for her expertise in economic competitiveness and civic leadership, and has advised leaders in places as diverse as Chicago, Columbus, Richmond, California’s Central Valley, China, Slovenia, and South Australia.

Prior to founding Collaborative Economics in 1993, Kim was senior policy analyst at SRI International’s Center for Economic Competitiveness, where she played management and analytic roles in more than 20 state and regional competitiveness projects in North America, Asia, and Europe.

Kim is the co-author of the books Civic Revolutionaries: Igniting the Passion for Change in American Communities (Jossey-Bass, 2003), Grassroots Leaders for a New Economy: How Civic Entrepreneurs Build Prosperous Communities (Jossey-Bass, 1987), and more than 50 other reports and publications.

Kim holds a bachelors degree in economics and humanities from Valparaiso University and a master of public policy degree from Harvard University, where she was a Kennedy Fellow.

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