Meet the Talent Dividend Network Team

It is my pleasure to step into the role of National Director of the Talent Dividend at CEOs for Cities. I have worked in Higher Education for over a decade and am thrilled that my journey has led me to the Talent Dividend.

I look forward to getting to know all of you and the important work you are doing in your cities. Your commitment to educational attainment could not come at a more crucial time as our nation begins the hard work of rebuilding a competitive and sustainable workforce. I am honored to be part of this initiative and hope to visit your city soon! Never hesitate to contact me if I can be of any assistance.
I am pleased to introduce CEOs for Cities team who join me in supporting your efforts.
- Noël Harmon, National Director of the Talent Dividend

Noël Harmon, Ph.D.
National Director of the Talent Dividend 
Dr. Noël Harmon is National Director of the Talent Dividend for CEOs for Cities. As leader of the National Talent Dividend initiative, her goal is to foster success among network cities to increase the post-secondary attainment among their residents. She directs the National Talent Dividend Prize competition and the National Talent Dividend Network.
Noël brings her experience as both a researcher and a practitioner in higher education to the Talent Dividend program. She previously served as a senior research analyst at the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP), where she worked with minority-serving institutions on initiatives such as the Walmart Minority Student Success Initiative, Lumina Foundation Models of Success, TG and National College Access Network Supporting Best Practices in Student Success, and the IHEP Summer Academy. Prior to joining IHEP, she worked in student affairs administration at Hofstra University and the University of Michigan and was the director of Learning to Lead at Western Illinois University. 
She'll be traveling the country and working closely with cities participating in the National Talent Dividend initiative, so keep an eye out for her at your local airport, board room or working lunch.
Lee Fisher
President and CEO, CEOs for Cities

Lee Fisher is the President and CEO of CEOs for Cities, a global network of cross-sector urban leaders dedicated to building and sustaining the next generation of great American cities. Lee is also a Senior Fellow with the Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University.
Lee is former Lieutenant Governor of Ohio, and in his career of public service has held the offices of Ohio Attorney General, State Representative, and State Senator (not concurrently, of course). In his role as Lt. Governor, serving with Governor Ted Strickland, Fisher also served as Director of the Ohio Department of Development, Chair of the Economic Growth Council, and Chair of the Ohio Third Frontier Commission.

"The best way to measure the economic success of a city is per capita income, and the most direct connection with per capita income is college attainment," Lee says of the importance of the Talent Dividend initiative. "Simply put, the more educated the city, the more robust its economy."

Joe Cortright 
Senior Research Advisor 

Joe Cortright is President of Impresa, Inc., and is Senior Research Advisor for CEOs for Cities.

Previously, he served as the Executive Officer of the Oregon Legislature's Joint Committee on Trade and Economic Development. Joe is the author of numerous studies of urban economies, including City Advantage and City Success, both published by CEOs for Cities, and The Young and Restless, documenting the migration of talented workers among metropolitan areas, and national industry cluster studies of high technology and biotechnology.
Joe's research is responsible for much of the data that underpins the Talent Dividend initiative, including the dividend itself: that a 1% in college degree holders could mean an increase of $763 in per capita income.

Joe is currently Chair of the Oregon Governor's Council of Economic Advisors, has served on the editorial board of Economic Development Quarterly, and is co-founder and editor of EconData.Net, the web's leading guide to regional economic data.

Catherine Bittar
Communications Associate

Catherine Bittar is a senior at Duke University, completing a B.A. in Public Policy and minor in Dance. For her fall 2011 term, Catherine participated in The School of International Training's "Multiculturalism and Human Rights" program in Cape Town, South Africa. During her time in South Africa, she worked as a research intern for the Extra-Mural Education Project, a not-for-profit organization based in Cape Town.

In fall 2010, Catherine helped produce a public policy documentary titled "Uprooted Innocence" for The Farm Worker Advocacy Network's "Harvest of Dignity" Campaign. She was later interviewed by NPR host Frank Stasio for her work on the project. Catherine has also served as the artistic director for "The Duke University Dancers," a group assembled to perform for the 2011 University Olympics Opening Ceremonies in Shenzhen, China. She is currently the Vice President of "Defining Movement," Duke's premiere multicultural dance group.
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