Richard C. Walker Joins EDAC

Economic Development Assistance Consortium (EDAC) is delighted to announce the availability of Richard Walker III as our newest affiliate and senior consultant. Over the last 27 years Richard has pioneered a number of community development innovations at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. Recently retired as Senior Vice President as well as special advisor to the President on community affairs and community development, he has led the implementation of multi-year grant initiatives for mid-sized cities and positively impacted economic development capacity-building in numerous other municipalities. In addition to serving as chairman of the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, Richard was a gubernatorial appointee to the board of directors of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority and has also held positions with the Massachusetts Housing Partnership and the Lincoln Filene Center for Citizenship and Public Affairs at Tufts University. A former EDAC client, he served as Executive Director of Greater Roxbury Development Corporation (one of the initial forty community development corporations established as part of the federally-funded “demonstration” program). He was instrumental in the development of the Boston Business Collaborative, a project that linked major corporations with existing minority businesses and led to the formation of the Initiative for a New Economy. Along with many civic affiliations and board memberships, his functions at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston included serving as part of the leadership team for the City to City program that involved interchanges between municipal delegations exploring best practices and pertinent economic growth strategy.

Richard leaves as his legacy at the Federal Reserve Bank the innovative project called the Working Cities Challenge. The Challenge is a pilot grant competition that is designed to encourage collaborative leadership and systems change in Gateway cities. Sponsored by the Kresge and Doris Duke foundations, Living Cities, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership, the Working Cities Challenge has expanded to Rhode Island and soon will be active in Connecticut. He is the executive producer of the award-winning video To Their Credit: Financing Women Owned Business, which was first broadcast on KQED in San Francisco in July 1999. Richard was instrumental in the development of the Federal Reserve Bank’s widely distributed publication Closing the Gap: A Guide to Equal Opportunity Lending, designed to help banks avoid possible discriminatory lending practices. He has also consulted with the People’s Bank of China, the South African Reserve Bank and the Bank of England. During his tenure as a prominent CDC leader in Boston, he had particular experience in managing federal HHS, HUD and DOL awards while overseeing commercial and residential development and nurturing entrepreneurial support endeavors.

With his vast experience, Richard will assist EDAC clients with strategies to develop asset-building and economic revitalization initiatives in metropolitan areas. Innovations for communities seeking to nurture economic redevelopment through the expansion of entrepreneurship will benefit from his track record concerning institutional collaborations and regional growth strategies. Richard’s EDAC teams will also facilitate approaches to supporting diversity among vendors and subcontractors focused on green infrastructure, healthy food undertakings and community health partnerships.