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As president and chief executive officer of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, Mark Cafferty sits at the center of a unique collaboration of business, trade, community, and education leaders who have redefined the region’s economic development strategy, cementing the region as a key stakeholder in the global economy.
Cafferty has spent more than 20 years designing systems to support career advancement and economic opportunity for American workers. He has served in numerous public-sector leadership positions and has been sought as a consultant on workforce development efforts throughout the country.
Over the last few years, Cafferty was asked to chair San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s Workforce and Economic Advisory Committee, and was appointed to serve on Governor Jerry Brown’s International Trade and Investment Advisory Council.
Cafferty has been recognized regularly by local publications like the San Diego Business Journal, SD Metro, The Daily Transcript, and U-T San Diego. He has been quoted in the New York Times, Bloomberg Businessweek and the Los Angeles Times.
A Boston native who now considers San Diego home, he earned his bachelor’s in marketing and communications from Assumption College in Worcester, Mass., and his advanced certification in Performance Measurement and Non-Profit Management from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. In 2007, Cafferty was selected as a Center for Social Innovation Fellow for International Non-Profit Leaders at Stanford Graduate School of Business.
He resides in San Diego’s Point Loma neighborhood with his amazing wife Charlene Kakimoto and their beautiful sons Kai and Quinn. Charlene is a dermatologist and former lieutenant commander with the United States Navy.
You can follow Mark on twitter at @Markcaffertysd
Dr. Nikia Clarke is founder and former Director of the Oxford University China Africa Network (OUCAN), an international organization that brings together senior policy makers, industry leaders, and researchers to identify and analyze emerging global investment and development trends. She holds a PhD in International Relations from the University of Oxford, an MPhil in Development Economics from the University of Cambridge, and a BA from Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles. Her doctoral research focused on FDI attraction and retention in emerging markets, with an emphasis on large-scale public-private partnerships. Prior to joining the University of Oxford, Nikia spent several years working in both the private and public sectors in the US, the UK, China, and South Africa. She provides regular analysis on trade and investment policy for a number of international consultancies and trade publications. Nikia speaks Mandarin, Spanish, and Setswana.