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WSU Economic Impact Economic Development Council
The Economic Development Council’s mission is to drive and facilitate WSU’s economic and community impacts in the state of Washington and in the communities it serves.
Comprised of leadership from across WSU campuses and areas of expertise, the Council will collaborate, strategize, incubate, facilitate, and communicate research and talent development that contribute to the economy of the state and in our local communities.

Council Goals

WSU strengthens communities by offering education, conducting research, and serving as an economic catalyst. The Economic Development Council will focus its collaborative efforts on strategic priorities to support the University in preparing a job-ready workforce, extending educational programs to serve rural and urban communities, forging research partnerships, transferring technologies, fostering innovation, scholarship and the arts, building small businesses, supporting industry, and creating jobs.


Expanding Broadband Access Initiative

Advancements in technology are rapidly transforming how our state works, communicates, accesses information, and educates students of all ages. The new technological capabilities are empowered by cloud-based computing and driving economic growth and innovations. However, many of our state’s residents in rural areas lack broadband access and are unable to take advantage of the economic and educational opportunities enjoyed by those who live in more urbanized areas. The Economic Development Council will leverage WSU’s capacities, expertise and networks to complement public and private efforts to bring expanded broadband access to underserved communities. The goal is to target programs in education, e-commerce solutions, precision agriculture and telemedicine to increase access to knowledge, skills, services and healthcare, while building infrastructure for future needs.

Campus Communities Initiative – supporting innovation and entrepreneurship

The state of Washington’s innovative and entrepreneurial culture is often regarded as one of the state’s greatest advantages in an increasingly competitive world. Every day, WSU – often in partnership with federal agencies – works to develop breakthrough technologies in the life and physical sciences, energy, national security, information technology, education, social innovation, and other areas. The Economic Development Council will support and communicate ongoing engagement, talent development, and innovation activities that WSU engages in across its system of students, faculty, researchers, and with our external stakeholders. Additionally, the EDC will support efforts to encourage faculty on every campus and in every college, to further participate in innovation activities that raise the visibility and deepen entrepreneurial partnerships with external partners in both the public and private sectors, including:

 – External Review & Report – Innovation and Entrepreneurship
 – Entrepreneurial Faculty Ambassadors
 – I-Corps

Seattle Initiative

WSU has long been engaged within metropolitan Seattle area, and continues to steward and build relationships with the public and private sectors, NGOs, and entrepreneurial communities. The Economic Development Council will focus on strengthening strategic engagement between WSU and the greater Puget Sound area to support the region’s innovation economy and address the impacts of urban growth. Activities will promote student experiences, and increase partnerships to tackle the challenges that are particularly relevant to the urban environment. WSU will seize opportunities to cultivate knowledge, catalyze solutions, enhance regional collaborations, and further invest in WSU’s  infrastructure for the future.

Information Assets

The Economic Development Council will focus on developing communication tools and processes to document how WSU partners worldwide to develop and commercialize solutions to address challenges and will quantify the institution’s many economic impacts. Innovation is integral to the state of Washington, especially in communities where our campuses are located and our alumni work and live. WSU’s contributions cover a wide range of areas including development of clean energy sources, healthy foods, and disease fighting solutions. We will communicate on the innovative research of our faculty, the reach of our University, and the energy and skills of our graduates who have positively transformed the economic landscape of our state and the world.



Steering Committee

Daniel J. Bernardo*

Provost and Executive Vice President

Daryll DeWald

Chancellor, WSU Spokane

Sandra Haynes

Chancellor, WSU Tri-Cities

Mike Gaffney*

Acting Director, WSU Extension

Mel Netzhammer

Chancellor, WSU Vancouver

Paul Pitre

Chancellor, WSU North Puget Sound at Everett

Asif Chaudry

Vice President for International Affairs

Christopher Keane*

Vice President for Research

Colleen Kerr*

Vice President for External Affairs and Government Relations

Brian Kraft*

Assistant Vice President, Innovation and Research Engagement

Stacy Pearson

Vice President for Finance and Administration

Alex Pietsch*

Associate Vice President, Corporate Relations

Lisa Calvert

CEO of WSU Foundation

Sasi Pillay

Vice President for Information Technology Services and CIO

Phil Weiler

Vice President of Marketing and Communication


For more information, please contact Ann Goos*, Director for Public Affairs: or 206-465-5136

* Steering Committee Executive Committee, including the EDC Tri-Chairs: Dan Bernardo, Chris Keane, and Colleen Kerr