WASHINGTON (NOV 2, 2023) – Today, the Washington DC Economic Partnership (WDCEP) announces the appointment of Derek J. Ford as its President and CEO.
Ford, who most recently served as the Senior Vice President of Neighborhood Development at WDCEP, is a highly respected and accomplished economic development executive. With over 20 years of experience, Ford has played a pivotal role in working with civic officials, economic development professionals, private sector companies, and community leadersto bring about new economic development opportunities for the District.
“WDCEP is dedicated to advancing the economic well-being of the District and creating new opportunities for our businesses community to grow and thrive, and we are excited to welcome Derek Ford as WDCEP’s new President and CEO,” said Nina Albert, Acting Deputy Mayor of Planning and Economic Development and co-chair of the WDCEP Board of Directors. “Derek’s understanding of this organization, his adeptness at forging business and community connections, and his robust national network are invaluable assets that will bolster our mission and work.”
“I am deeply honored to accept the role of President and CEO at WDCEP and I’m ready to get started. My mission is clear: to attract and retain businesses in Washington, D.C.,” said incoming President and CEO, Derek J. Ford. “I’m looking forward to working collaboratively with my team, building on institutional knowledge, and leveraging my local and national expertise to ensure that D.C. remains a destination where businesses thrive.”
“This is a critical time for our city’s economic future as we continue our comeback and our work to attract, retain, and grow our business community,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “We look forward to working with Derek and the team at WDCEP to advance and support the District’s economic development initiatives, bring more people into DC, and make sure employers and entrepreneurs know why DC is the best place to do business.”
As Senior Vice President of Neighborhood Development at WDCEP, Ford has been responsible for attracting and securing various types of businesses, including grocery stores, retailers, restaurants, and more. Before joining WDCEP, Ford was the Chair of the Board of Directors for the District of Columbia Housing Finance Agency from 2013 to 2015, where he provided direct oversight of the DC Open Doors and Home Saver Program, which helped to make homeownership more affordable in DC and prevent home foreclosures.
Ford was selected following a nationwide search led by the Board and aided by an executive search firm. Ford will assume the role on November 13, taking over from Chad Shuskey, who has served the organization well as interim president & CEO for the past seven months.
“We want to express our deepest thanks and sincere gratitude to Chad Shuskey, who admirably led WDCEP during a time of transition. We are grateful for his steadfast leadership and long and distinguished tenure at this organization,” said Mike O’Hara, co-chair of the WDCEP Board of Directors and Principal at Bohler DC. “It was our priority to choose a candidate who will serve as a dynamic and collaborative leader, propelling this organization into the next phase of its true mission: attracting and retaining businesses for the vibrant future of Washington, D.C. We found that in Derek.”
In his civic capacity, Ford serves on the Board of Directors for African American Real Estate Professionals, Community Family Life Services, and Bright Beginnings. Ford received his bachelor’s degree from North Carolina AT&T State University and received certificates in executive leadership from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and The George Washington University.
About the Washington DC Economic Partnership
The Washington DC Economic Partnership (WDCEP) is a non-profit, public-private organization whose core purpose is to actively position, promote, and support economic development and business opportunities in the District of Columbia.
WDCEP’s mission is to promote the District’s economic and business opportunities through supporting business retention and attraction activities. WDCEP is the central organization in the District that connects both the public and private sectors as well as neighborhood communities to local, national, and international audiences. WDCEP’s unique position is owed to its historical knowledge of the city’s business and economic climate; accurate analytics, data, and research; and access to community partners.
WDCEP collaborates with its partners in the city to facilitate dynamic relationships with technology visionaries, artists, real estate entrepreneurs, nonprofits, and global enterprise leaders based on independent thinking and objective insights. We stay one step ahead of the vibrant and evolving economic landscape by monitoring the pulse of DC’s developers, startups, entrepreneurs, and large and small businesses.
Contact: Sheena Pegarido
(202) 559–4431, firstname.lastname@example.org