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Monique Claiborne of The Kenley Group will lead the economic development organization.

COURTESY PHOTO: GREATER PORTLAND INC. - Monique Claiborne of The Kenley Group  will lead Greater Portland Inc. as the organization's new president and CEO starting Feb 8.

Greater Portland Inc. has named Monique Claiborne as the organization's new president and CEO. Claiborne will oversee the nonprofit public-private partnership, which advances regional economic development through job growth and investment in the seven-county, bistate region.

GPI seeks to attract businesses to the Portland area, including Southwest Washington, by selling them on the region's charm, its cool factor, and its shovel-ready land.

"Monique's extensive experience in all areas of economic development — from business recruitment and foreign direct investment to government and finance — make her exceptionally qualified to lead GPI into a new era," said Michelle Weisenbach, KeyBank president and commercial banking sales leader for Oregon/SW Washington and chair of the CEO search committee for the Greater Portland board of directors.

"She has a proven track record as a highly effective communicator, and her experience working for public, private and nonprofit organizations will be a distinct advantage in GPI's role convening diverse regional partners," she said.

Prior to joining Greater Portland Inc., Claiborne was the founder of The Kenley Group, a Portland-based consulting firm where she advised and strategized with nonprofits and municipalities nationwide.

While in Portland, Claiborne advised the City of Detroit on fiscal, economic and administrative projects. Before that, she served as the legislative operations chief financial officer for the City of Detroit, where she oversaw the $100 million-plus budget for legislative departments during economic recovery and post-bankruptcy.

GPI has burned through leaders since Janet LaBar left for North Carolina two years ago. Matt Miller, the leader before the current interim, quit last August and recently started a similar job at the Greater Sacramento Economic Council.

"I am looking forward to growing the organization and expanding the regional economy," Claiborne said. "One of GPI's biggest assets is its strong regional buy-in from both the public and private sectors, but it's imperative companies that have benefited from the region's workforce also invest in the region for continued growth.

"As we work to grow Greater Portland's economy, we need to ensure that equity is central to that growth every step of the way. The pandemic has exposed and worsened existing inequities in the region, including uneven access to capital, and I plan to address this directly."

Claiborne has a master's degree in international public policy from University College London. GPI said her international experience will help trade-dependent Portland.

Claiborne assumed her new role Feb. 8.


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