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Walton Family Foundation Fellow to speak at WVU on characteristics of competitive places

A photo of Ross DeVol.

Ross DeVol


Ross DeVol, a Walton Fellow with the Walton Family Foundation, will present “Characteristics of Competitive Places: The Role of the Entrepreneur and University,” on Wednesday, November 7, at 11 a.m., at West Virginia University. The lecture, part of the Glen H. Hiner Distinguished Lecture Series in the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, will be held in room G102 of the Engineering Sciences Building on the Evansdale campus.

DeVol studies national economic trends and how they impact the American heartland. He assesses opportunities for regional innovation ecosystems that foster job creation, wage gains and economic growth for the non-coastal areas of the nation. DeVol works with universities, colleges, the business community, public policy leaders and philanthropy to analyze resources supporting the startup community and identify workforce and talent gaps.

The Walton Family Foundation Fellows Program enlists subject-matter experts to conduct research and develop best practices that support the foundation’s philanthropic efforts.

DeVol is the former chief research officer for the Milken Institute, an economic think tank headquartered in California. For more than 20 years, he oversaw research on international, national and comparative regional growth performance; access to capital and its role in economic growth and job creation; and health-related topics. He has been ranked among the “Superstars of Think Tank Scholars” by International Economy magazine.

Now in its 13th year, the Glen H. Hiner Distinguished Lecture Series is named in honor of the outstanding alumnus who, in 2005, established an endowment to support the deanship of the Statler College at WVU.

Hiner graduated from WVU’s Department of Electrical Engineering in 1957, and then embarked on an outstanding 35-year career with General Electric. In 1992, he became chief executive officer of Owens Corning. He has served on several Statler College’s advisory committees, as a visiting professor in the WVU College of Business and Economics and as a member of the WVU Foundation Board of Directors.



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