Executive Director, White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities
White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities
Appointed Executive Director in October 2017, Holifield is a recognized expert in economic and education inclusion and competitiveness, focusing on public-private partnerships and community system-building. Prior to his appointment, he co-founded ScaleUp Partners and authored The Future Economy and Inclusive Competitiveness: How Demographic Trends and Innovation Can Create Economic Prosperity for All Americans. Holifield’s interdisciplinary career includes serving as founding Vice President of Inclusive Competitiveness at NorTech, a leading regional innovation cluster and competitiveness organization, where he authored the Ohio Department of Higher Education statewide report, Inclusive Competitiveness: Empowering Underrepresented Ohioans to Compete in the Innovation Economy, and serving on the Northeast Ohio Council of Regional Economic Policy Advisors. He was founding Vice President of New Economy Enterprise at the Cincinnati USA Chamber of Commerce and founding Executive Director of CincyTech, a market-leading venture development organization. He has also held chief executive positions with the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy and Cleveland Urban League.
Holifield earned his B.A. from West Virginia University where he captained the football team and later played for the Cincinnati Bengals. He went on to receive his J.D. and M.Ed. from the University of Cincinnati and a professional certificate from University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute.