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Economic Development Administration

Economic Development Administration
Agency overview
Formed 1965
Jurisdiction Federal government of the United States
Headquarters Herbert C. Hoover Building
Washington, D.C.
Annual budget $246.5 million (2014)
Agency executive
  • Jay Williams, Assistant Secretary for Economic Development
Parent agency Department of Commerce

The Economic Development Administration (EDA) is an agency in the United States Department of Commerce that provides grants and technical assistance to economically distressed communities in order to generate new employment, help retain existing jobs and stimulate industrial and commercial growth through a variety of investment programs.[1]


  • History 1
  • Mission and investment priorities 2
  • Role 3
  • Multi-agency initiatives 4
  • Organization 5
  • Senior leadership 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


The EDA was established under the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965 to generate jobs, help retain existing jobs, and stimulate industrial and commercial growth in economically troubled areas of the United States. EDA assistance is available to rural and urban areas of the United States experiencing high unemployment, low income, or other severe economic distress.

Mission and investment priorities

The EDA’s stated mission is to "lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting innovation and competitiveness, preparing American regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy."[2]

The EDA’s investment policy is designed to establish a foundation for sustainable job growth and the building of durable regional economies throughout the United States. This foundation builds upon two key economic drivers - innovation and regional collaboration. Innovation is the key to global competitiveness, new and better jobs, a resilient economy, and the attainment of national economic goals. Regional collaboration is essential for economic recovery because regions are the centers of competition in the new global economy and those that work together to leverage resources and use strengths to overcome weaknesses will fare better than those that do not. EDA encourages its partners around the country to develop initiatives that advance new ideas and creative approaches to address rapidly evolving economic conditions.[3]


The EDA is the only federal government agency solely focused on economic development. EDA works with communities across the country on regional economic development strategies to attract private investment and create jobs in economically distressed areas of the United States.

EDA’s flexible programs and structure enable nimble operations and allow for innovation and responsiveness to changing economic needs and conditions faced by its local and state government partners. Grants made under these programs are designed to leverage existing regional assets to support the implementation of economic development strategies that advance new ideas and creative approaches to advance economic prosperity in distressed communities.

EDA’s economic footprint is wide and its tool box is extensive—including technical assistance, post-disaster recovery assistance, trade adjustment support, strategic planning and research and evaluation capacity, thereby allowing the agency to offer the most effective investment to help communities succeed in the global economy.[4]

Multi-agency initiatives

EDA leads a host of multi-agency initiatives with the stated goal of “breaking down bureaucratic silos” and promoting partnership in the regions it serves. These initiatives include:[5]

  • Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership[6]
  • Make it in America Challenge[7]
  • Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2)[8]
  • Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge[9]
  • i6 Challenge[10]


The EDA is led by an Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development, who is appointed by the President of the United States. The current Assistant Secretary is Jay Williams, who was appointed by President Barack Obama and confirmed on May 14, 2014. The Assistant Secretary is assisted in running the Administration by two Deputy Assistant Secretaries and various other senior career federal employees, and has the following organizational structure:

  • Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development
    • Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development/Chief Operating Officer
      • Office of External Affairs
      • Office of Information Technology
      • Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship
      • Office of Finance and Management Services
    • Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Regional Affairs
      • Office of Regional Affairs
        • Atlanta Regional Office
        • Austin Regional Office
        • Chicago Regional Office
        • Denver Regional Office
        • Philadelphia Regional Office
        • Seattle Regional Office

Senior leadership

  • Jay Williams, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development
  • Matt Erskine, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development and COO
  • Thomas Guevara, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Regional Affairs
  • Tene Dolphin, Chief of Staff
  • Angela Belden Martinez, Senior Advisor and Director of Outreach
  • Stephen Kong, Chief Counsel
  • Bryan Borlik, Director, Performance and National Programs, and Director, Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms
  • Angela Ewell-Madison, Director, Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs
  • Breelyn Pete, Director, Public Affairs

See also


  1. ^ "Investment Programs". Economic Development Administration. 
  2. ^ "Mission". Economic Development Administration. 
  3. ^ "Mission". Economic Development Administration. 
  4. ^ "Mission". Economic Development Administration. 
  5. ^ "Multi-agency initiatives". Economic Development Administration. 
  6. ^ "Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership". Economic Development Administration. 
  7. ^ "Make it in America Challenge". Economic Development Administration. 
  8. ^ "Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2)". The White House. 
  9. ^ "Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge". Economic Development Administration. 
  10. ^ "i6 Challenge". Economic Development Administration. 

External links

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