Our

Leadership

Smart Incentives analyzes incentive offerings and program designs.

Ellen D. Harpel , Ph. D.

Ellen Harpel is the founder of Smart Incentives, which helps communities make sound decisions throughout the economic development incentives process. She is also president of Business Development Advisors LLC (BDA), an economic development and market intelligence consulting firm in Arlington, VA. Smart Incentives serves governments and economic development organizations. Our focus is ensuring that incentives support community objectives and help places grow in the way their residents desire. Smart Incentives is also at the forefront of efforts to develop more robust processes for monitoring compliance and evaluating the effectiveness of incentive programs.

EDUCATION
PhD Regional Economics, Schar School of Policy and Government, George Mason University

Master of Business Administration, Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina

Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service, Georgetown University

RECENT EXPERIENCE

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

Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development
Economic Development Strategic Plan (with CREC)
Salt Lake City, UT

Michigan Economic Development Corporation
Michigan Business Development Program Effectiveness Study
Lansing, MI

City of Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City Incentives Study (with CDFA)
Kansas City, MO

Invest Atlanta
External Review of Incentives
Atlanta, GA

Economic Development Alliance
Competitive Economic Development
Incentives Analysis
Jefferson County, AR

Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness
The Pew Charitable Trusts Business Incentives Initiative
State Data Sharing Initiative
Washington, DC

Maryland Department of Commerce
Economic Development Incentives and Financing Study (with CREC)
Baltimore, MD

Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation
Management Review and Recommendations (with CREC)
Madison, WI

The 2030 Group
Roadmap for the Washington (DC) Region’s Economic Future
Washington, DC Region

Southern Alleghenies Planning and Development Commission
Advancing Opportunity in Somerset County, PA (with EntreWorks)
Somerset, PA

Stephen S. Fuller Institute, George Mason University
Changing Nature of Work Series: Gig and Independent Work
Arlington, VA

Incentive Training and Workshops
I. Investment Incentives and Sustainable Investments
Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
II. Intro Incentives Course
Council of Development Finance Agencies
III. Tax Incentives and Economic Development Policy
National Association of County Collectors, Treasurers and Finance Officers
Heinz College, Carnegie Mellon University

International
I. Certification Course on International Investment and Sustainable Development
World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies, Istanbul
II. Improving the Use of Investment Incentives in the Southern Mediterranean Region
EU-OECD, Amman
III. Policy Guidelines to Develop Colombia’s ICT Ecosystem
MIT Technology Review and MinTIC, Colombia

Years In Business

Years of Experience

Active Partners

Workshops & Presentations

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