Doug Rothwell is the first President & CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan which was formed in 2009 by uniting two CEO-led business organizations - Detroit Renaissance and the Michigan Business Leadership Council. During Doug's tenture as President of Detroit Renaissance, he led the development of the region’s first economic growth strategy - the Road to Renaissance. This six-point plan was the most comprehensive initiative launched in Detroit Renaissance's history, having raised well over $70 million in corporate and other investments during one of the region's most challenging economic periods. Doug also helped found One D, a collaboration of the region’s major civic organizations; advocated for structural reforms in state finances; and expanded corporate leadership in the region. Prior to joining Detroit Renaissance, Doug served as Executive Director of Worldwide Real Estate for General Motors.
Doug also founded and served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. During his ten year tenure, Michigan was named the number one state for attracting and retaining corporate site location investments an unprecedented four years in a row; was cited for achieving one of the top business climates in the nation; and was consistently named the best state economic development agency. His work continues to serve as the foundation for much of Michigan's economic development strategy, including: tax-free Renaissance Zones, research & development Smart Zones, brownfield redevelopment incentives, MEGA job creation tax credits, economic development job training grants, M-TEC technical training centers, the NextEnergy initiative and the largest business retention program in the nation.
Doug holds a Masters of Public Administration degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Delaware and attended the John F. Kennedy School’s residential program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government at Harvard University.
President & CEO
Business Leaders for Michigan