Smart Incentives analyzes incentive offerings and program designs.

Darrene L. Hackler, Ph. D.

Darrene is consultant and senior advisor to Smart Incentives. Darrene brings particular economic development expertise in economic equity and inclusive growth, entrepreneurship, innovation, and sustainability. She assists local and regional government officials, as well as large and small economic development and non-profit organizations with their grassroots efforts, strategic plans, incentives analysis, and technical assistance. She works with a variety of stakeholders, including universities, think tanks, foundations, governments and funding agencies to build partnerships that can strengthen local economic development ecosystems.

She has served as an Executive Director at the University of California, Davis’ Office of Research, the Vice President of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), a Senior Fellow at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), and an associate professor at George Mason University

PhD Political Science and Economics Claremont Graduate University

Master of Arts in Public Policy Claremont Graduate University

Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Economics
College of Idaho


Pew Charitable Trusts
Equitable Economic Development and Community Engagement
Washington, DC

Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
Economic Development Incentives Analysis for Entrepreneurial Firms
Kansas City, Missouri

The James Irvine Foundation
Strategic Policy and Grantmaking: Business and Workforce Development
San Francisco, California

Franklin County Economic Development and Planning
Department Economic Development Strategic Plan
Franklin County, Ohio

City of Sacramento
I. Project Prosper: Strategic Stakeholder and Community Engagement
II. Project Prosper: Neighborhood Economic and Community Development
III. Strategy Sacramento Now Economic Action Agenda
Sacramento, California

Greater Sacramento Economic Council Inclusive and Equitable Economic
Development Performance Metrics
Sacramento, California

Center of Excellence, Northern California, California Community Colleges and Los Rios District
Strategic consulting and analysis on projects, industry cluster, regional workforce, Economic Development Administration CEDS.
Sacramento, California

Arlington County Economic Development and Commission Economic Sustainability, Resiliency, Competitiveness, and Innovation Assessment
Arlington County, Virginia

Orange County Business Council Information and Communication Technology Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy
Orange County, California

Smart Incentives
I. Kansas City Enhanced Enterprise Zones Review
II. Michigan Economic Development Business Incentive Analysis
III. Pine Bluff, Arkansas Downtown Revitalization
Arlington, Virginia

Years In Business

Years of Experience

Active Partners

Workshops & Presentations

Sign Up For

Our Newsletter

Get our latest news and calendar of events!

Check Out Our Featured Reports