U.S. Secretary of Commerce Names David Kenney to National Advisory Council

WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today announced that David Kenney, the president and executive director of Oregon BEST, is one of the 27 individuals selected to serve on the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (NACIE). NACIE members will advise the Secretary of Commerce on issues related to accelerating innovation, expanding entrepreneurship and developing a globally competitive workforce. The Council will operate as an independent entity within the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE), which is housed within the U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA).

“Through our ‘Open for Business Agenda,’ the Commerce Department has prioritized supporting entrepreneurs and helping foster innovation, which are key drivers of America’s global competitiveness,” said Secretary Pritzker. “The new NACIE members are a diverse and dynamic group of successful entrepreneurs, innovators and investors, as well as leaders from nonprofit organizations and academia. I appreciate their willingness to serve our nation on these important issues, and I look forward to working with the Council to advance innovation and cultivate a skilled workforce for today’s 21st century jobs.”

At Oregon BEST, David Kenney leads the nonprofit organization in its mission to advance cleantech startups by connecting the companies to university research expertise and investors, and to help speed commercialization of university research into new cleantech products and companies.

"I'm very excited about the opportunity to contribute to the national dialogue about how to promote and foster innovation and entrepreneurship across all sectors of our economy," Kenney said. "The initiatives we have undertaken in Oregon to align innovation investments with our cluster development strategies is one example of the Oregon story I hope to share on the national stage."

NACIE’s overarching focus is recommending transformational policies to the Secretary that will help U.S. communities, businesses and the workforce become more globally competitive. NACIE members, who will serve a two-year term, were chosen based on their ability to carry out the objectives of the Council. All of the appointees have demonstrated expertise and experience in the areas of innovation, entrepreneurship, and workforce skills.

In reviewing the applications, the Secretary sought individuals who have been nationally recognized leaders in a variety of fields in order to create a balanced point of view, including a representation of different demographics, organization size, industry sector, and geographic regions. 

NACIE’s work will be organized into subcommittees around three main focus areas: entrepreneurship, innovation, and job-driven skills training. The full Council will convene four times each year beginning with the first meeting in December 2014.