EIG’s leadership is drawn from a wide array of backgrounds: policy experts, start-up founders, investors, and academics. What they share is a commitment to creating a more dynamic and innovative economy across America.

Executive Team & Staff

EIG is led by a bipartisan team with decades of policy, legislative, and public affairs experience working with leaders in the Executive Branch, Congress, and the private sector.

Sean Parker

Founder and Executive Chairman


Sean Parker is a philanthropist and entrepreneur with a record of launching genre-defining companies. The co-founder of Napster at age 19 and Plaxo at 21, in 2004 he joined with Mark Zuckerberg to develop the online social network Facebook and served as Facebook's founding president. In 2007, Mr. Parker co-founded Causes on Facebook, which registered 180 million people to donate money and take action via Facebook; and, in 2014 announced his backing of a new initiative called Brigade an online platform for civic engagement. Mr. Parker is also a board member at Spotify. Mr. Parker has been recognized for his leadership in funding and promoting research into the relationship between the immune system and cancer, and helping to establish the Stand Up 2 Cancer (SU2C) Immunotherapy Dream Team. In 2013, he was honored by the Cancer Research Institute with the Oliver R. Grace Award for Distinguished Service in Advancing Cancer Research. Mr. Parker has continued to advance critical research in life sciences with a recent pledge of $24 million to the Stanford University School of Medicine to launch the Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy Research at Stanford University.  

John Lettieri

President and CEO


John Lettieri is President and CEO of the Economic Innovation Group (EIG). 

John's career in public policy has included time in both the public and private sectors working with a diverse set of policymakers, entrepreneurs, investors, and global business leaders.

Prior to EIG, John was the Vice President of Public Policy and Government Affairs for a leading business association, the Organization for International Investment (OFII), where he led the organization's state and federal policy work on such issues as tax reform, trade, investment promotion, and manufacturing. Before joining OFII, John was Director of Public and Government Affairs for a global aerospace manufacturer. He previously served as a foreign policy aide to former U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel, who was then a senior member of the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

John's commentary and research have been cited in the AP, The Atlantic,  Bloomberg, Daily Beast, Fast Company, Financial Times, Fox News, The Hill, NPR, New York Times, Time, USA Today, Vox, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, San Francisco Chronicle, and others.

John is a graduate of Wake Forest University where he studied political science and global commerce. He serves on the Board of Regents at The Fund for American Studies, the Board of Directors for Lincoln Network, and the Board of Directors for Friends of the National Zoo. He lives with his wife and children in Washington, D.C.

Chris Slevin

Vice President

Chris Slevin joined EIG as Vice President in 2019 after serving in the Senate, most recently as Senator Cory Booker’s (D-NJ) legislative director. Previously, Slevin served as an economic policy advisor for Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH). For over a decade, Slevin contributed to efforts in the Senate on a number of issues, including the auto industry restructuring, the State Small Business Credit Initiative, authorized in the Jobs Act of 2010, which provided capital to suppliers and other small businesses following the recession, and various trade bills. Slevin also spearheaded the effort to establish though Congress the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation program, which authorized and funded 14 public-private advanced manufacturing hubs in economically distressed parts of the country, beginning in Youngstown, Ohio.  Slevin is active in a number of outside groups and coalitions focused on political reform and criminal justice issues. He is a graduate of Villanova University and studied at The George Washington University.

Milica Cosic

Director of Operations and Events


Milica Cosic is the Director for Events and Operations at the Economic Innovation Group. She has researched and published on a range of economic and international security issues for the Peterson Institute for International Economics and the Brookings Institution. Milica received her B.A. in Political Science with Distinction and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California at Santa Barbara. She is currently working towards her M.A. in Security Studies at Georgetown University.

Kenan Fikri

Director of Research


Kenan Fikri serves as EIG’s Director for Research and Policy Development.  Prior to joining EIG, Kenan was a Senior Policy Analyst and Associate Fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program.  There he was responsible for conceptualizing and executing a wide array of economic research and policy projects.  An expert in place-based economic analysis, Kenan has considerable experience advising state and local officials on economic development and regional competitiveness strategies.  Kenan has also served as a consultant with The World Bank Group’s competitive cities team. Kenan obtained his Masters Degree in Local Economic Development from the London School of Economics and his Bachelor’s in International Relations and Economics at American University.  

Cal Harris

Director of Communications

Cal Harris is the Director of Communications at the Economic Innovation Group. Previously, Cal served as regional communications director for presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg where he oversaw the campaign’s Super Tuesday media efforts in Tennessee, Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, and Minnesota. Prior to the Bloomberg campaign, Cal served as communications strategist for Pine Street Strategies, the Washington, D.C.-based firm that orchestrated historic mayoral wins for Frank Scott, Jr. in Little Rock, Arkansas and Randall Woodfin in Birmingham, Alabama. The firm, which he co-founded, assisted dozens of mayors across the South on various policy matters and advised on the creation and launch of the Birmingham Inclusive Growth (BIG) Partnership. Cal also worked in the communications shop of the Bipartisan Policy Center and their legislative arm BPC Action. A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Cal is a graduate of Morehouse College and the Heller School of Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University.

Rachel Reilly

Director of Impact Strategy


Rachel Reilly serves as EIG's Director of Impact Strategy, leading the organizations work to support communities, policymakers and investors in their efforts to catalyze sustainable economic growth across the country through Opportunity Zones and other forward-thinking initiatives. Previously, Rachel was the Director of Impact Investing at Enterprise Community Partners where she expanded community investment opportunities for people and businesses. Rachel was at the helm of Enterprise’s engagement with Opportunity Zones, and her portfolio of work included leading Enterprise’s $100 million debt offering – the Impact Note – in addition to policy and advocacy activities related to impact investing. She has a Master’s in Real Estate Development from the University of Maryland, and served two terms as an elected representative in Washington, D.C.

Catherine Lyons

Manager of Policy and Coalitions


Catherine serves as EIG's Manager of Policy and Coalitions. Prior to joining EIG, she was Southern California Director for FWD.us, a bipartisan advocacy organization focused on immigration reform. Previous to that, she led the housing and community development policy work for the Bay Area Council in the San Francisco Bay Area. She served as an AmeriCorps member in New Orleans after graduating magna cum laude from the University of Southern California with a dual degree in print journalism and international relations. She recently received her Master of Public Policy from Georgetown University's McCourt School of Public Policy, during which she interned at the DC Department of Small and Local Business Development and the U.S. Senate Committee on the Budget.

August Benzow

Research and Policy Analyst

August Benzow is a Research and Policy Analyst at EIG. Prior to joining EIG, he was the Research Manager at World Business Chicago, a public-private partnership that led the City of Chicago’s economic development efforts. In addition to this experience, he has worked as a planning consultant for the City of Beaverton and an economic development consultant for RKG Associates. In 2014, he received his Master’s in Region and Urban Planning from Portland State’s Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning where his studies focused on economic planning and policy.

Daniel Newman

Research and Policy Analyst

Daniel Newman is a Research and Policy Analyst at EIG. Prior to joining EIG, he was a Senior Associate at The Pew Charitable Trusts, where he analyzed fiscal, economic, and demographic trends to help policymakers understand the impact on states’ fiscal health in addition to researching city responses to distress. He received a master's degree in public policy from the University of Virginia, where his studies focused on housing and economic development, and bachelor’s degrees in government and Spanish from the University of Maryland.

Kennedy O’Dell

Research and Policy Fellow

Kennedy O’Dell is a Research and Policy Fellow at the Economic Innovation Group. Before joining EIG, Kennedy worked for the Montana State Legislature as a budget and appropriations staffer and as a community organizer in Butte, Montana. Kennedy is a native of Eudora, Kansas, and holds a Bachelor’s degree in History from Princeton University. She is currently working towards her Master’s in Local Economic Development at the London School of Economics.
Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now