Detroit Revitalization Fellows Program set to immerse second cohort in Detroit economic development

August 2, 2013

DETROIT-Wayne State University today announced that the Detroit Revitalization Fellows Program (DRFP), an innovative initiative that nurtures promising professionals to help lead the economic revitalization and development of Detroit, will launch its second cohort, with 22 new fellows entering the two-year program on August 5.

"Wayne State and its partners in the DFRP are eager to see the new cohort's wide-ranging skill sets at work transforming Detroit's communities," commented Ned Staebler, Wayne State's vice president of economic development.

 "From diverse backgrounds and perspectives, with already successful careers both locally and across the country, the Detroit Revitalization Fellows are poised to build meaningful connections between the city's boardrooms and its street corners around crucial community and economic development efforts," added DRFP Director Graig Donnelly.

The 22 new fellows were selected from a pool of more than 400 candidates. After a rigorous selection process, each fellow was hired by one of 20 participating DRFP employers to work full-time in a position related to the advancement of Detroit's physical, social, political and economic environments. The program's second cohort will participate in monthly programming provided by Wayne State that includes an executive-style leadership development program and critical dialogues with leaders of business, community and the Detroit Future City implementation team.

"Eastern Market Corporation has been fortunate to participate in both rounds of the DRFP. Each time we were able to select from a highly talented pool of candidates to help us build the organizational capacity we need to achieve our vision of creating the nation's most inclusive, resilient, and robust regional food hub," commented Dan Carmody, president of Eastern Market Corporation.

The DRFP is designed to retain the Detroit area's top professionals, provide opportunities for those who have left to come back home and recruit the best national talent.  Thirteen of the new Fellows currently reside in Detroit or the metro area, two will be returning home and seven are totally new to Detroit.

"After living and working in Chicago for the past five years, I realized how much I valued my Michigan roots and wanted my career to be focused on addressing the challenges facing my home state and its largest city," commented new DFRP fellow Amber Gladney.

Launched in 2011, the DRFP is inspired by the success of the CUREx Rockefeller Foundation Redevelopment Fellowship in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, but it is the first endeavor of its kind in Detroit. The program is administered by Wayne State - the city's largest university - with the support of The Kresge Foundation, Ford Foundation, Hudson Webber Foundation, The Skillman Foundation, DTE Energy Foundation, the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation and Rock Ventures.

For more information about DRFP, visit

Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering more than 370 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 29,000 students.