CEO, Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness (CREC)
Kenneth (Ken) E. Poole is the Chief Executive Officer of the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness. Poole has managed economic development research, analysis, and technical assistance efforts for 35 years. He co-founded CREC in January 2000 as an independent non-profit focused on assisting policy-makers use data to develop a stronger understanding of how state and regional economies can compete effectively in the evolving, knowledge-based economy.
Poole manages the organization’s strategic planning, information sharing, research, and professional training activities, including the development of customized training in regional economic research techniques. At CREC, he has assisted in dozens of research, planning, and technical assistance consulting projects for clients across the U.S. including national foundations; federal, state and regional economic and workforce development agencies; educational institutions and local government agencies.
In those projects, Poole has conducted quantitative and qualitative analyses of economies and program impacts, facilitated strategic leadership planning sessions, as well as provided technical assistance on economic and workforce development program design and strategy.
As Executive Director of the national nonprofit membership organizations, the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER), the Labor Market Information Institute, the Association of Public Data Users, and the Projections Managing Partnership, Poole oversees all program development activities, including information dissemination about news related to the federal statistical agencies, the development of research and professional training activities, as well as organizing national conferences for the different professional networks.
Ken obtained a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Public Policy with a concentration in Regional Development Policy from George Mason University, a Master in Public Administration degree from American University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from UNC at Chapel Hill. In 2016, he received the Innovation in Local Employment Dynamics Award from the U.S. Census Bureau.