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Congressional Leadership Award

This award recognizes a member of Congress who has made significant contributions in the area of economic development. The award is given to a leader for his/her continuous support for economic development, and/or for intense work on a single piece of legislation.


Senator Cory Booker

Since he entered politics as a city councilman in Newark, New Jersey, in 1998, Senator Cory Booker has worked purposefully to increase economic empowerment in communities at the local and national level. During his tenure on the council, he consistently proposed initiatives that positively impacted housing and development in his ward. Although he was consistently outvoted, Senator Booker never backed down from advocating for his constituents. After serving as councilman, Senator Booker launched Newark Now in 2003, a nonprofit organization that provides Newark residents with the skills, tools, and support needed to transform their neighborhoods across the city.

Senator Booker was elected mayor of Newark in 2006, a position he held for more than seven years. As mayor, Senator Booker was a fierce proponent of economic development. He worked with local leaders to form the Brick City Development Corporation, the primary economic development organization for the city. Under Senator Booker’s leadership, Newark saw the recruitment of several large companies, including Pitney Bowes and Panasonic of America, the first new hotel in 40 years, and the first new office tower in nearly 20 years. To ensure that city residents benefited from new developments, many projects featured agreements to ensure that Newarkers were employed on the construction sites and had access to the first opportunities for long-term jobs with these new companies. In an effort to support small businesses, Senator Booker provided aid to small, women-owned, and minority-owned businesses in Newark through a small business lending program. The program enabled entrepreneurs to start or expand more than a dozen companies throughout the city. During his tenure as mayor, Newark began its most prosperous period of economic growth since the 1960s.

Now in his second term in the United States Senate, Senator Booker has provided an innovative, collaborative, and solutions-driven approach throughout his tenure, as well as during some of the most difficult times for New Jersey and the nation. He worked diligently to secure funds to continue the recovery from Superstorm Sandy in 2012. In keeping with his belief in collaborative legislation, Senator Booker has worked closely with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to create several economic proposals, including opportunities for increased small business investment and apprenticeship programs. Most recently, he led a bipartisan initiative in Congress to promote tax incentives and investment in distressed areas, which resulted in the passage of the Investing in Opportunity Act in 2017.

Senator Booker has shown an immense commitment to the betterment of his state and country. His steadfast support of economic and community development programs is undeniable. The International Economic Development Council is honored to present Senator Cory Booker with the 2018 Congressional Leadership in Economic Development Award.

Congressman Louis J. Barletta

Congressman Louis J. Barletta has worked diligently to promote economic prosperity for the people of Pennsylvania and the nation. Now in his fourth term as a member of the United States House of Representatives, he has been a staunch supporter of programs that positively impact economic development, healthcare, housing, and workforce issues.

Prior to his start in politics, Congressman Barletta worked as a small business owner in his hometown of Hazleton, Pennsylvania. This experience equipped him with a unique understanding of the impact government policies have on small business. He began his career in public service in 1998 when he was elected to the Hazleton City Council and went on to become mayor in 2000. Despite the massive budget shortfall he inherited as mayor, Congressman Barletta was able to spark unprecedented economic revitalization for the city of Hazleton through prudent, fiscally responsible decisions.

A tribute to his dedication to international economic prosperity, Congressman Barletta was appointed to the United Nations Advisory Committee of Local Authorities by the White House in 2004. The committee, which was established in 1999, is made up of representatives from approximately 323,000 communities from across the globe that come together to promote worldwide sustainable development.

In an effort to catalyze extensive, meaningful change across his district, Congressman Barletta has worked alongside his colleagues on several house committees. As a member of the Small Business Committee during his first congressional term, he advocated to reduce the interest rate on Small Business Administration disaster recovery loans following devastating flooding that impacted his district in September 2011. In January 2014, Congressman Barletta was appointed to a special panel of the House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee where he focused on creating opportunities for public-private partnerships in all modes of transportation, economic development, public buildings, and infrastructure. He now serves as Chairman of the Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management Subcommittee of the T&I committee. Congressman Barletta is also a member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, where he serves on the Higher Education and Workforce Development Subcommittee and the Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions Subcommittee.

Congressman Barletta has an extraordinary awareness of economic development, small business, and workforce development challenges and is an unwavering proponent of policies that promote growth. For this reason, the International Economic Development Council is honored to present Congressman Louis J. Barletta with the 2018 Congressional Leadership in Economic Development Award.



Senator Thad Cochran

Throughout his career, Senator Thad Cochran has worked tirelessly to promote economic development and educational opportunity for communities throughout the country. As a member of the Senate since 1979, and Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Cochran has championed programs to rebuild communities in the wake of natural disasters. In 2005, he spearheaded the effort to provide more than $87 billion in supplemental federal assistance to Mississippi and other Gulf Coast states devastated by Hurricane Katrina. He later used lessons from Katrina to coauthor legislation enacted in 2013 to reform federal disaster recovery activities. In 2012, Senator Cochran worked to develop the RESTORE Act to help Gulf Coast states implement ecological and economic recovery initiatives in the wake of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill.

Recognizing the importance of training and educational opportunities for those who need it most, Senator Cochran cosponsored the On-the-Job Training Act of 2015, which authorized discretionary grants for adult and dislocated worker training. He also was a champion of a grant application from the Delta Health Alliance, a nonprofit organization focused on improving educational and developmental outcomes of children and youth in distressed communities. The alliance received nearly $30 million in federal funding to promote early childhood education, high school graduation, and college attendance in the Mississippi Delta.

Senator Cochran has continuously supported programs and legislation that promote economic and community development and has been an ardent supporter of the Economic Development Administration and the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) throughout his career. In 2016, he announced $3.38 million in new DRA grants to support eight infrastructure and community development projects throughout Mississippi. In total, more than $7.2 million will be invested in quality of life and community-economic improvement projects such as the Mississippi Readers-to-Leaders initiative, which provides training, technical assistance, and resources for education paraprofessionals in rural Mississippi, and phase one of the construction of the Bellwood Levee, which will make 100 acres of county-owned property fit for industrial use. Earlier this year, Senator Cochran, cosponsored the Agricultural Export Expansion Act of 2017, which lifts restrictions on the private financing of American agricultural exports to Cuba, opening new markets for Mississippi and U.S. farmers.

Having served his country as a naval officer and a champion for economic prosperity, Senator Cochran has shown immense commitment to the betterment of the nation. For this reason, the International Economic Development Council is honored to present Thad Cochran with the 2017 Congressional Leadership in Economic Development Award.

Congressman Steve Stivers

Congressman Steve Stivers has dedicated his career to fostering job creation and promoting economic prosperity in communities at the local, state, and national level. His experience spans both the public and private sector. Prior to being elected as a member of the Ohio State Senate in 2003, Congressman Stivers gained valuable business experience as a Licensed Trader for the Ohio Company and as the Vice President of Government Relations at Bank One.

A true testament to his belief in the importance of strengthening the economy at the national level, Congressman Stivers was a leader in the efforts to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank in 2015. In fewer than 10 years, the bank has financed more than $240 billion in U.S. imports, supported over 1.4 million jobs domestically, and provided more than $3.8 billion to taxpayers. More than 90 percent of the bank’s transactions in 2016 directly supported small businesses across the country. Understanding that the failure to save the bank and enact meaningful reform would have resulted in the loss of over 100,000 American jobs, he cosponsored the Reform Exports and Expand the American Economy Act. The bill required 31 reforms that would reduce the burden to taxpayers and, most critically, allow the Export-Import Bank to continue fostering job growth throughout the nation.

Congressman Stivers is a champion of programs that promote job creation. As a Member of the Financial Services Committee, which oversees the banking, insurance, and real estate industries, he has encouraged healthy economic competition and support of the financial services industry, which is a source of nearly 70,000 jobs in Central Ohio. Additionally, in an effort to bridge the gap between job seekers and employers, Congressman Stivers hosts an annual job fair in his district where attendees also receive resume writing and interview skills assistance. Last year’s job fair saw 80 employers and more than 5,000 job opportunities.

Congressman Stivers has served in the Ohio Army National Guard for more than 30 years, and as a Brigadier General, is one of the highest-ranking National Guard members to simultaneously serve as a member of Congress. Given his unique experience, he recognizes the hardships that veterans face when returning home. In 2012, he introduced the HIRE at Home Act. The bill, which was signed into law, aims to help service members who have received military training in healthcare and transportation obtain the appropriate certifications to secure employment in the private sector, easing their transition back into civilian life.

Congressman Stivers works tirelessly to ensure economic growth, job creation and prosperity for the state of Ohio and throughout the country. The International Economic Development Council is honored to present Congressman Steve Stivers with the 2017 Congressional Leadership in Economic Development Award.



Senator Sherrod Brown

The Congressional Leadership in Economic Development Award recognizes a member of Congress who has made significant contributions to the field of economic development. The award is given to a leader for his or her continuous support of economic development, and/or for intense work on a single piece of legislation.

Throughout his nearly 25 years in Congress, Senator Sherrod Brown has shown an immense commitment to the economic prosperity of both the state of Ohio and the United States. His unique ability to build consensus, along with his commitment to putting constituents first, have been hallmarks of his career and are reflected in a number of significant contributions to economic development.

In the midst of the Great Recession, Senator Brown was a leading voice when advocating for saving the American automobile industry from collapse. He understood that the bailout would not only affect the major auto companies, but that it would also greatly impact hundreds of independent suppliers and logistics firms, many of which exist in Ohio. Therefore, Senator Brown fought to ensure that funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program were allocated not only to the large companies but to these small suppliers as well. A 2011 study found that 164,654 jobs, or a staggering 20 percent of the workforce, would have been lost in Ohio had the bailout not occurred. During this time, he also worked with Airbus to make Ohio one of the top U.S. supplier concentrations in the aerospace industry. There are now over 600 companies with predominant aerospace ties that support over 186,000 Ohio jobs, and the industry has proved vital to the economic vitality of the state.

Senator Brown has long been a champion of American manufacturing and innovation. For example, he sponsored the Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act of 2014. Among other things, the bill created the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation. This unprecedented network of manufacturing hubs promotes public-private partnerships that provide businesses and research institutions with the resources necessary to create high-tech manufacturing jobs. One part of the network, America Makes, which is the national accelerator for additive manufacturing and 3D printing, can be found in Youngstown, Ohio.

In 2014, Senator Brown, the first Senator from Ohio to serve on the Agriculture Committee in four decades, worked to pass the Farm Bill. This bill provided robust support for expanded business development and financing for rural communities. It also provided for the expansion of broadband connectivity in rural areas, a critical step to bringing those economies into the 21st century.

Senator Brown has repeatedly recognized the importance of federal government programs. In 2009, he introduced legislation that designated $50 million to the United States Economic Development Administration in support of business incubation programs in communities hardest hit by the economic downturn. He also was an active voice in helping to restore the United States Export-Import Bank to its full authority in 2016, supporting an essential program that connects U.S. goods with foreign buyers.

Throughout his tenure in Congress, Senator Brown has consistently demonstrated his commitment to the citizens of Ohio and the country through his persistent efforts to improve economic development in local communities. His work has led to improvements that will ensure the economic prosperity of his state, and the nation, for years to come. Therefore, the International Economic Development Council is honored to present United States Senator Sherrod Brown with the 2016 Congressional Leadership in Economic Development Award.



Chaka Fattah

Representative Chaka Fattah has faithfully served the Second District of Pennsylvania in the U.S. House of Representatives for forty years. Prior to being elected to Congress, Representative Fattah served in both chambers of the Pennsylvania legislature as well as a stint as special assistant to Philadelphia’s Director of Housing and Community Development. Beyond his service to his district, Representative Fattah has shown dedication to economic development by supporting many key economic initiatives ranging from research and development to foreign direct investment through his role as Ranking Member of the House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee for Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS). His exemplary congressional leadership has resulted in tangible results that have benefitted economic developers across the country.

Representative Fattah has championed many meaningful economic development initiatives throughout his time in Congress and emphasized the importance of manufacturing in the nation’s economic growth. He has secured over $300 million in recent years to help fund federal seed projects supporting the resurgence of American manufacturing, including the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, National Innovation Marketplace, Advanced Manufacturing Consortia, and the Advanced Manufacturing Initiative.

Beyond his interest in ensuring manufacturing’s strong future in the United States, Representative Fattah also understands the importance of supporting future technologies to encourage economic growth. His commitment to research and development has manifested itself in several pieces of legislation related to funding federal laboratories and commercialization. He has also been a champion of education initiatives to increase accessibility of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) degrees to students of all economic backgrounds.

In the omnibus appropriations bill funding the federal government for fiscal year 2014, Representative Fattah was a key voice of support for SelectUSA, a program of the U.S. Department of Commerce responsible for billions of dollars’ worth of foreign direct investment into the United States. By directing $7 million in funding for SelectUSA, Representative Fattah has given the program the resources it desperately needs to grow and expand foreign economic development dollars in communities across the country.

Representative Chaka Fattah has worked tirelessly to encourage economic growth both locally and nationally for four decades. His focus and diligence to successfully enact legislation supporting technological advancement, manufacturing, and foreign direct investment have had a tremendous impact on economic development. For these reasons, the International Economic Development Council is honored to bestow upon United States Representative Chaka Fattah the 2014 Congressional Leadership in Economic Development Award.



James M. Inhofe

As an elected official for over 45 years, United States Senator James Inhofe has been vital to Oklahoma’s economic prosperity by supporting military installations, transportation infrastructure, and energy and environmental policy. As mayor of Tulsa, member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, United States Congressman, and now as Oklahoma’s ranking U.S. Senator, Senator Inhofe has worked tirelessly for his constituents, both on the local and national scale.

As a former member of the United States Army and as a member of the Senate Armed Forces Committee, Senator Inhofe recognizes the importance of the military as an economic engine. He was the primary force behind the successful relocation of Oklahoma’s largest single site employer, Tinker Air Force Base. By obtaining a vacant General Motors plant and recreating it as the Tinker Aerospace Complex, officials were able to construct a facility that attracts international aerospace companies and employs 27,000 Air Force and civilian employees.

In addition to his focus on the economic importance of the military, Senator Inhofe is a champion of improving transportation infrastructure. Knowing that waterways and roads are important to a successful economy, he led a bipartisan effort to extend the Federal Highway Program in 2010. This effort was integral to the continuation of federal road construction and prevented the loss of thousands of jobs. Senator Inhofe also led the charge to improve the safety and efficiency of Oklahoma interstates and bridges.

Senator Inhofe is also the ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee. While in his role with EPW, Senator Inhofe introduced the Economic Development Administration Reauthorization Act of 2009. This Act ensured that economically distressed areas continued to receive support through grants, allowing them to achieve long-term growth without reliance on government assistance.

Senator James Inhofe has worked tirelessly to create new jobs in his home state of Oklahoma and across the country for more than four decades. He has created new economic opportunities and improved existing institutions. From encouraging local and national infrastructure development to repurposing underutilized facilities for the armed forces, Senator Inhofe has had a tremendous impact on economic development. The International Economic Development Council is honored to bestow upon United States Senator James Inhofe the 2013 Congressional Leadership in Economic Development Award.



Pete Visclosky

In the nearly three decades he has been in office, United States Representative Pete Visclosky has worked tirelessly to create economic opportunities for Northwest Indiana by maximizing the region’s opportunities and investing in its potential.

In 2002, Rep. Visclosky approached Purdue University officials with the idea to expand Purdue’s research and technology expertise by building and operating a high-tech incubator in Northwest Indiana. Three years later, the Purdue Technology Center of Northwest Indiana opened its doors through a partnership with the Purdue Research Foundation. Since then, bolstered by the success of the original location, satellite incubator facilities in Indianapolis and New Albany have opened and formed an “innovation highway” that stretches from Northwest to Southeast Indiana.

As a result of Rep. Visclosky's collaboration with the Purdue Research Foundation, 23 companies have been created or expanded. More than 75 new jobs that pay average annual salaries of $64,950 have been created; an amount 65 percent greater than the average annual salary in Indiana.

In addition to his work with the Purdue Technology Center, Rep. Visclosky has been integral to countless other economic development projects throughout the state of Indiana, including the Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation (CIVS) and the Water Institute at Purdue University Calumet, which help prepare students for success in the transportation field.

Greatly influenced by his hometown of Gary, Indiana’s once vibrant but vanishing steel based economy, Visclosky has been a strong advocate for Northwest Indiana’s steelworkers and industry. He serves as Vice-Chairman of the Congressional Steel Caucus, a bipartisan group of approximately 100 Members of Congress who represent districts with steel manufacturers. He also serves as Ranking Member of the Energy and Water Development Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee, where he strives to boost investments in new energy technologies.

Rep. Pete Visclosky has worked tirelessly to create new jobs, attract new business and develop new economic opportunities for the benefit of the people who live and work in Northwest Indiana. His significant contributions in the area of economic development and his continuous support for the people of Indiana have had a tremendous impact across the state and nation and will for many years to come. The International Economic Development Council is honored to bestow upon United States Representative Pete Visclosky the 2011 Congressional Leadership in Economic Development Award.



Evan Bayh

The Federal Leadership in Economic Development Award recognizes a member of Congress who has made significant contributions in the area of economic development. The award is given to a leader in recognition of support of economic development, and/or for intense work on a single piece of legislation.

The Honorable Evan Bayh has dedicated the last 25 years of his career to improving the lives of Indiana residents. First elected as Indiana’s Secretary of State in 1986, he went on to serve two terms as the state’s governor before setting his sights on Washington, where he represented the citizens of Indiana for twelve years.

As governor, Bayh’s administration helped build one of the strongest economies in the nation by developing an economic development program for the state of Indiana that attracted dozens of new companies, $2.3 billion in new investment, and over 350,000 jobs. With Bayh at the helm, Indiana’s budget was balanced for eight consecutive years, and by the end of his tenure, the state had a budget surplus three times the national average.

After completing two successful terms as Indiana’s governor, Bayh was elected to the United States Senate in 1998. Throughout the last twelve years, Bayh has focused his domestic agenda on creating jobs and assisting middle class families. He has been integral in reshaping Indiana’s automotive industry. He secured more than $500 million for companies that specialize in the manufacturing of components for clean energy vehicles. With this funding, Indiana has been able to reshape the landscape of the automotive manufacturing sector.

In recognition of his public service and commitment to economic development, the International Economic Development Council is proud to present The Honorable Evan Bayh with the 2011 Federal Leadership in Economic Development Award.

George Voinovich

United States Senator

Barbara Mikulski

United States Senator

Max Baucus

United States Senator

Olympia Snowe

United States Senator

James Oberstar

United States representative
Minnesota, 8th District

Christopher “Kit” Bond

United States Senator

Paul E. Kanjorski

United States Representative
Pennsylvania, 11th District