Kim WaleshKim Walesh is Director of Economic Development and Deputy City Manager for the City of San Jose, the nation’s 10th largest city and Capital of Silicon Valley. Kim has a strong track record of turning ideas into action, working with diverse interests. Throughout her career, Kim has helped leaders collaborate across disciplines in order to create economic opportunity, strengthen sense of community, and design environments that make people happier, healthier, and more productive. She’s inspired to create the next generation of great cities that work for people and for business.
At the City of San Jose, Kim leads implementation of city’s comprehensive economic strategy to catalyze job growth, private investment, revenue generation, and talent attraction. She oversees citywide initiatives in business retention and attraction, downtown development, cultural vitality, workforce development, and real estate. As Deputy City Manager, Kim provides leadership and strategic coordination to city departments shaping the future of the city, including planning, development services, housing, transportation, airport, and cultural affairs. She assists the City’s executive leadership team with civic innovation and strategic planning.
Prior to joining San Jose, Kim was Co-Founder and Managing Director of Collaborative Economics--a Silicon Valley-based consultancy that works with business and civic leaders to build stronger economies and better communities. She advised leaders on development challenges at the local, regional, and state levels across the United States. She pioneered new approaches to industry cluster engagement, measuring civic progress, and developing civic entrepreneurs. Kim also served as Senior Policy Analyst at SRI International’s Center for Economic Competitiveness, where she played management and analytic roles in more than 20 state and regional competitiveness projects in North America, Asia, and Europe.
Kim is co-author of the books Grassroots Leaders for a New Economy: How Civic Entrepreneurs Build Prosperous Communities and Civic Revolutionaries: Igniting the Passion for Change in American Communities. She has written more than 50 other reports and publications, including key documents about the Silicon Valley region. She is a founding board member SPUR San Jose, the ZERO1 Art and Technology network, and the Prospect Silicon Valley clean tech center.
Kim holds a bachelors degree in economics and humanities from Valparaiso University and a master of public policy degree from Harvard University, where she was a Kennedy Fellow.