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Strengthening Regional Economies for a Sustainable Midwest

Ahead of the Cities Summit of the Americas, the Council brings together local and national leaders to explore policy priorities for a sustainable Midwest.
Roundtable Discussion
Matt Watson
Event Date

About This Event

Many Midwestern communities, whether large cities or smaller industrial towns, are struggling to adapt to globalization and rapidly changing economic and environmental realities. This roundtable will bring together stakeholders from Chicago and across the Midwest—including local governments, the private sector, non-profits, and academia—with representatives from the US Department of State and other US Government officials to focus on accelerating a renewable, sustainable, and just energy transition in the region. Together, we will explore how cities and subnational policies can complement national, and often global, commitments to encourage economic development around the green economy, in turn leading to thriving communities.  

The roundtable will be held ahead of the first-ever Cities Summit of the Americas, which will be convened in Denver in April 2023. Participants from across the Americas will attend the Summit to advance policy priorities declared at the Ninth Summit of the Americas in 2022; clean energy transition, and climate change and environmental sustainability, among them. The roundtable in Chicago will build around these policy priorities as well as the ongoing work of the Chicago Council on transforming industrial regions. 

Roundtable Participants

  • Matthew Abbott, Director, Government and Diplomatic Programs, Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Gabe Amo, Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs 
  • John Austin, Director, Michigan Economic Center; Senior Fellow, Global Midwest, Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Greg Bedalov, President and CEO, Choose DuPage Economic Development Alliance   
  • Benoni Belli, Consul General, Consulate General of Brazil in Chicago
  • Ari Botbol, Outreach Manager, Office of Congressman Brad Schneider (IL-10) 
  • William Davis, Executive Director, Bronzeville Community Development Partnership
  • Ken Boyce, Senior Director, Principal Engineering: Industrial, UL Solutions 
  • Michelle Carr, Illinois Director of The Nature Conservancy
  • Erin Delawalla, Regional Manager, Client Solutions, Resource Environmental Solutions
  • Anne Evens, CEO, Elevate
  • Demetria Giannisis, Senior Managing Director, Institute for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern, Northwestern University
  • Patrick Hanlon, Deputy Commissioner for Sustainability, Healthy Homes, and Environment, City of Minneapolis; Mayor, City of Hopkins, Minnesota
  • Brian Hanson, Vice President, Studies, Chicago Council on Global
  • Sandra Henry, President and CEO, Slipstream 
  • Blake Kilmer, Deputy Director of Operations, Office of Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-08)
  • Sam Kling, Senior Fellow and Director, Global Cities, Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Alex Kruzel, CEO and Founder, Telesto Strategy
  • Jordan Leventhal, Senior Vice President, Product, Reactivate
  • Quinton Lucas, Mayor, City of Kansas City, Missouri 
  • Samir Mayekar, Deputy Mayor for Economic and Neighborhood Development, City of Chicago
  • Matt Mikolajewski, Director of Economic Development, Madison, Wisconsin
  • Wolfgang Moessinger, Consul General, Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Chicago
  • Kevin O’Reilly, National Coordinator, Cities Summit of the Americas, US Department of State
  • Arie Pals, Summit Advisor/ ICT Advisor, US Department of State 
  • Benjie de la Peña, CEO, Shared Use Mobility Center
  • Doug Pryor, President and CEO, Will County Center for Economic Development
  • Paula Robinson, Managing Member, Bronzeville Partners LLC
  • Morgan Said, Chief of Staff to Mayor Lucas, Kansas City, Missouri
  • Davis Schneiderman, Krebs Provost and Dean of the Faculty at Lake Forest College
  • Charles Small, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Intergovernmental Affairs, US Department of Transportation
  • Debra Shore, Regional Administrator, Region 5, US Environmental Protection Agency
  • Thomas Wall, Program Lead, Engineering & Applied Resilience, Center for Climate Resilience & Decision Science, Argonne National Laboratory
  • Karen Weigert, Director, Baumhart Center, Loyola University Chicago
  • Katie Rosenberg, Mayor, Wausau, Wisconsin
  • Sophia Wennstedt, Co-Founder and CEO, Blip Energy  
  • Drew Williams-Clark, Director of Equitable and Sustainable Communities, Metropolitan Planning Council