Center created to promote inclusive growth in New Haven takes shape

Yale and New Haven officials today launched the search for the inaugural director of the Center for Inclusive Growth.
Peter Salovey, Justin Elicker, and Kerwin Charles

Yale President Peter Salovey (center), New Haven Major Justin Elicker (left), and Yale School of Management Dean Kerwin Charles (right).

Yale and New Haven officials today launched the search for the inaugural director of the Center for Inclusive Growth, a historic partnership that will develop and implement strategies to grow the city economically in a way that benefits all city residents.

The center, which will be located at 65 Audubon St., was announced in November 2021. On the same day, the university also announced a six-year commitment to increase its voluntary financial contributions to the city.

The center’s executive director will report to a board of directors initially comprised of Yale President Peter Salovey; Kerwin Charles, dean of the Yale School of Management (SOM); New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker; and Tyisha Walker-Myers, president of the New Haven Board of Alders.

The executive director, under the board’s guidance, will convene advisory committees to support the mission and work of the center. The advisory committees will consist of academic and community experts with a particular emphasis on devising strategies and initiatives to address the racial wealth gap. The job posting for the executive director position will be managed by the employment firm Kaiser Whitney.

President Salovey and Mayor Elicker shared the update on the Center for Inclusive Growth just before the annual Seton Elm-Ivy Awards celebration, in which Yale and the city recognized the students, faculty, and community members for strengthening Yale-New Haven ties.

They also announced a series of new initiatives to benefit New Haven residents, businesses, and the city at large. These efforts, which will be led by SOM, include:

  • a high-level education and leadership program to support local entrepreneurs,
  • plans to make available paid Yale student interns to provide support in identified strategic and high-need areas, and
  • a commitment to explore specific ways that the resources of Yale can benefit New Haven’s ecosystem of entrepreneurs and entrepreneur support organizations.

SOM will begin work on these initiatives this semester.

The initiatives we announce today underscore Yale and New Haven’s strong bond and our commitment to bringing the university’s scholarly strengths to bear on developing and implementing strategies for growing the city’s economy to benefit every neighborhood,” Salovey said. “I look forward to the search for an executive director who understands the values that the university and city share and appreciates the depth and breadth of our partnership.”

Charles said he has met with many members of the community over the last several months, including elected officials, nonprofit leaders, invested residents, and students.

I heard from many the range of issues on their minds with regards to inclusive growth, and I look forward to connecting the Yale School of Management, through these initiatives, to the center’s first director and their efforts to address resident priorities and enhance economic development in New Haven,” he said.

Elicker said that the announcement is another step forward in strengthening the city’s partnership with Yale in ways that lift the entire community through inclusive growth.

It’s encouraging to see Yale’s increased investment in our community — first with the university nearly doubling its annual contribution to the city last year and now with today’s announcements about the Center for Inclusive Growth,” said Mayor Elicker. “We are working collaboratively with Yale with a shared goal of lifting the entire New Haven community through inclusive growth, and I look forward to the ways this initiative and partnership will expand opportunities for our residents and our city.”

Yale and New Haven reconfirmed their historic, three-century partnership in 2021 when they announced a six-year commitment that significantly increased the university’s annual voluntary financial contributions to the city by a total of $52 million in new money, from a previously projected $83.4 million to a newly estimated $135.4 million, and created the Center for Inclusive Growth, along with an additional $5 million contribution.

I am encouraged by the commitment demonstrated by Dean Charles and Yale’s leadership to help us identify an executive director who will truly drive change,” said Walker-Myers.

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