Joe Cortright is President and principal economist with Impresa, a Portland consulting firm specializing in regional economic analysis, innovation and industry clusters. Joe is senior policy advisor for CEOs for Cities, a national organization of urban leaders, and is a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. He has served as an advisor to state and local governments, private businesses, foundations and advocacy groups in more than a dozen states, Canada and Europe.
Joe’s work casts a light on the role of knowledge-based industries in shaping regional economies. Joe’s latest report is City Vitals–a tool for benchmarking urban economic health–published by the national organization CEOs for Cities. Cortright is the author of three publications on industry clusters published by the Brookings Institution: Making Sense of Clusters (2006) — a review of academic literature on industry agglomeration — Signs of Life (2002) — a benchmark analysis of the clustering of the U.S. biotechnology industry and High Tech Specialization (2001). Cortright has also written extensively on the migration of talented young workers among metropolitan areas in a series of studies entitled The Young and Restless for cities around the nation. His work is quoted regularly in the media, in publications ranging from the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times to The Economist, Business Week and USA Today.
Joe is currently Chair of the Oregon Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors, has served on the editorial board of Economic Development Quarterly, and is co-founder and editor of EconData.Net, the web’s leading guide to regional economic data.
Prior to starting Impresa, Joe served for 12 years as the Executive Officer of the Oregon Legislature’s Trade and Economic Development Committee. Joe is a graduate of Lewis and Clark College and holds a Master’s degree in public policy from the University of California at Berkeley.