Don has a wide variety of work experience in the field of regional economic development over the past 10 years. Don began his career in economic development with the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce. After completing his BA in economics at Harvard University, Don moved on to become a strategic projects coordinator at the Pennsylvania Department of Commerce, where in 1987 he was the lead analyst on the state's economic development strategy -- Investing in Pennsylvania's Future. In 1988 Don enrolled at the H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management and worked on research related to venture capital and technological innovation, as well as detailing patterns of Japanese direct investment in the U.S.
Upon receiving his Ph.D. from the Heinz School, Don accepted a position with RAND's Critical Technology Institute in Washington D.C., as a technology policy analyst specializing in the financing of new technologies and the development of regional technology clusters. In June of 1995, Don returned to Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University to direct the Center for Economic Development, and teach in the economic development curriculum. From December 1998 until July 1999, Don served as President of the Pittsburgh Digital Greenhouse, Inc, a startup company designed to stimulate an electronic chip design industry cluster in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Currently, Don serves as Special Assistant to the President for Economic Development, chairing Carnegie Mellon University's Economic Development Council.
In Pittsburgh, Don is active in a number of community activities, including serving on the board of The Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny County, Junior Achievement, and the Economics Club of Pittsburgh.
Ph.D. from the Heinz School