Pamela Lewis

Jan. 6, 2016

New Economy Initiative in Detroit has named Deputy Director Pamela Lewis (BS Systems Science ’86) to serve as its next director.

Pamela Lewis ('86) is the new director of New Economy Initiative in Detroit. (Photo courtesy of Crain's Detroit Business.)
Pamela Lewis ('86) is the new director of New Economy Initiative in Detroit. (Photo courtesy of Crain's Detroit Business.)

A graduate of the Michigan State University College of Engineering, she was recently named as one of Crain’s top 25 women in technology in Michigan.

She succeeds David Egner, who left to become president and CEO of the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation Jan. 1.

Lewis, who joined NEI in 2011, most recently led high-tech, high-growth initiatives. Among her responsibilities was assisting with oversight of $5 million grants for Invest Detroit, a nonprofit created by Business Leaders for Michigan that manages $110 million in funds and tax credits to support business expansion and real estate development. Two grants made to the First Step Fund and the Detroit Innovate Fund are supporting investment in early stage companies, such as those in high-tech.

Lewis, 51, joined NEI as a senior program officer from the Kansas City-based Kauffman Foundation, where she oversaw national entrepreneurial programs as a member of its Detroit team. At Kauffman, she led an NEI-funded program to create hundreds of small businesses through training programs at Detroit’s TechTown.

Before that, she was a senior program manager for NextEnergy, managing entrepreneurial programs focused on accelerating clean energy startups.

Lewis began her career at DTE Energy Co., spending 15 years in roles ranging from analyst to manager of process management and continuous improvement initiatives.

“Pam is a highly talented economic development expert who will bring important continuity to NEI’s work as well as the vision to guide the NEI team in defining a strategy for its next important phase,” NEI Chairman Steven Hamp said in a release.

Now in its eighth year of making grants and forging public-private partnerships to spur economic development, NEI is one of the country’s largest philanthropic collaborations.  So far it has helped create more than 17,000 jobs and 1,600 companies in the region. It is managed by the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan.


Story and photo courtesy of Crain’s Detroit Business.