Donald F. Smith is president of the Regional Industrial Development Corporation of Southwestern Pennsylvania (RIDC), one of the region’s best known economic development agencies. Don’s career in economic development began with the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, and the Pennsylvania Department of Commerce as lead analyst on the state's economic development strategy. After receiving his PhD on research related to venture capital, technological innovation and patterns of Japanese investment in the U.S., he worked at RAND's Critical Technology Institute in D.C. as a policy analyst specializing in the financing of new technologies and regional technology clusters. After RAND he served as director of the Center for Economic Development at Heinz College at Carnegie Mellon University for seven years, during which time he has also served as president of the Pittsburgh Digital Greenhouse. From 2002 until he joined the RIDC, he held a joint economic development post at both Pitt University and Carnegie Mellon University known as the University Partnership.