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Kathleen Lee

Director of Applied Research Centers

Partnership for Economic Innovation

Kathleen Lee serves as Director of Applied Research Programs for Partnership for Economic Innovation and Senior Vice President of Regional Initiatives for Greater Phoenix Economic Council.

Across her roles, Kathleen leads high impact projects that advance the region’s capacity for innovation and job creation. Kathleen is driven by a conviction that building an economy that works for everyone is best achieved through collaboration. With a multidisciplinary background in economics and regional and urban planning, Kathleen has led the planning and implementation of initiatives such as policies that promote renewable energy and advanced manufacturing and the GPEC-Brookings partnership for sustainable regional economic growth, which led to establishment of Partnership for Economic Innovation. Kathleen led the transition of PEI as an independent organization.

Over a career of more than 20 years, Kathleen has worked in different regions, including Portland, Los Angeles, Korea, and the Philippines. She serves on the board of New Growth Innovation Network, an organization that works with economic development practitioners around the country to design and build inclusive growth practices.

Kathleen moved to Tempe, Arizona in 2007, following her husband’s position with ASU. Since 2017, she enjoys working remotely from Bellingham, Washington, and travels regularly to Phoenix to stay connected with partners and the community.


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