New internship connects OHIO students with economic development leaders

Gift provides hands-on experience for students

Heather Anerino
November 7, 2011

Thanks to a $25,000 gift to The Ohio University Foundation from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), a new internship program at Ohio University will offer undergraduate and graduate students affiliated with the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs with the opportunity to intern at the IEDC and gain practical, hands-on experience in local economic development issues and trends. 

Established in honor of IEDC President and CEO Jeffery A. Finkle, the internship will be made available to OHIO students interested in economic development, city and regional planning, public administration and public policy programs.

The program will provide OHIO interns with the unique chance to play a role in the largest economic development association in the world.  "The opportunity like this for a student to work on a national and international level with IEDC and Jeff Finkle is tremendous," said Mark Weinberg, director of the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs. "Their leadership in economic development and entrepreneurship compliments Ohio University's national leadership in these endeavors and our students will benefit in multiple ways from this experience."

Finkle, a 1976 graduate of Ohio University and 2011 Medal of Merit recipient, has been an international leader in the field of economic development for more than 25 years. Finkle has maintained a long standing relationship with Ohio University's Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs and is the founder of the Bollinger Foundation, a non-profit organization which provides support to children who have lost one or both parents who worked in the economic development profession.

In his current role as President and CEO of the IEDC (the world's largest economic development membership organization), Finkle contributes to community revitalization, business development and job creation on an international level. He has established multi-lateral partnerships with regional and national economic development organizations around the world and advised on economic development issues in China, Europe, Latin America and Oceania.

In Southeast Ohio, Finkle was instrumental in developing the Appalachian New Economy Partnership (ANEP) program, which has created high-quality jobs, spurred company development and growth, and improved the quality of life throughout the Appalachian region. Finkle currently serves as an Appalachian New Economy Partnership (ANEP) Fellow. Funded through the Ohio Board of Regents, the ANEP develops Appalachia Ohio's long-term economic prosperity by supporting and developing technology, entrepreneurship and educational access in the region.

"The establishment of this internship program recognizes Jeff's 25 years of international leadership in economic development," said Denny Coleman, board chair for the IEDC. "In addition to the recognition of Jeff's accomplishments, we hope this new internship inspires a new generation of economic development thought leaders," Coleman added.
The IEDC is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to helping economic developers do their job more effectively and raising the profile of the profession. The mission of IEDC is to provide leadership and excellence in economic development for its communities, members and partners.