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As Chief Operating Officer, Jen Nelson leads MEDC’s organizational operations, including development and implementation of MEDC’s strategic plan as well as MEDC’s continuous improvement and organizational performance initiatives. In addition to leading MEDC’s strategic plan initiatives, Jen will spearhead organizational strategy and execution as well as key outreach initiatives, working directly with the MEDC Executive Committee, the Michigan Strategic Fund Board, the Collaborative Development Council, the Michigan Economic Development Foundation, Business Leaders for Michigan and other stakeholders statewide.
Jen’s return to MEDC builds on 12 years of previous experience within the organization, serving in several leadership roles including Executive Vice President and Chief Business Development Officer, Chief Operating Officer and Legal Counsel. For the past four years, she served as Vice President of Public Policy and Economic Development for Business Leaders for Michigan. In that role, Jen focused on issues around K-12 education, workforce development and economic development throughout Michigan. Most notably, she helped establish Launch Michigan, an unprecedented partnership of business, education, labor, philanthropy, civic leaders and parents with a goal to create a high-quality, PreK-12 student-centered system.
Earlier in her career, Jen practiced as an attorney in Dykema Gossett’s public finance corporate group.
Jen graduated Magna Cum Laude from Northern Michigan University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Speech Communication. She received her law degree from Michigan State University College of Law, also graduating Magna Cum Laude.