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Publisher’s Note: Kelsey joins Capital of Texas Media Foundation

Thursday, August 8, 2019 by Dan Zehr

When we sketched out plans for a new Austin-focused think tank, we envisioned an organization that could dive deep into the metro area’s many challenges and opportunities. But we also realized we would have to put our own community’s issues in the context of what’s happening elsewhere, in cities around the state and country.

The ideal candidate to lead this effort would know Austin intimately, but would also possess an array of high-level insights and experience from other cities and regions around the country.

We found that person in Brian Kelsey, a name many of you will recognize from his past work and research in Austin. Kelsey most recently served as the first chief strategy officer in the Nashville mayor’s office, and having recently left that job, has signed on as the inaugural research director with the Capital of Texas Media Foundation.

During his prior tour in Austin, Kelsey founded an economic development consulting firm called Civic Analytics, which he continues to operate. He and his colleagues worked with clients around the country and also conducted extensive analyses of Central Texas issues. Much of that work was rooted in his hometown connections as a graduate of UT’s LBJ School of Public Affairs, as the former director of economic development at the Capital Area Council of Governments, and simply as an active and engaged citizen of Austin.

That doesn’t even get into his work at the federal level, including his stint as a senior adviser with the U.S. Economic Development Administration, where he designed and implemented an award-winning platform for coordinating federal economic development efforts.

His resume extends well beyond this, but the rest of it only further underscores the fact that Kelsey brings an ideal blend of experience and insight to lead this new think tank. We’re pleased to have him aboard.

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