John Sternlicht has served as the CEO of the Economic Development Alliance of Skagit County since August 1, 2015. John brings senior executive expertise in law, economic development, community relations, public policy, finance, and government relations with a domestic and international focus (he speaks French, German and Spanish). John has over 25 years high-level experience negotiating and executing multi-billion dollar business locations and expansions involving public and private sector financing, higher education, infrastructure including all modes of transportation and legislative initiatives. In his previous positions at the state and local level in Virginia and Washington, and also in the private and non-profit sectors, John has developed a wide-ranging view of economic development and its importance to the entire community.
John, who currently serves on the Board of Directors of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), speaks and writes nationally and abroad on various topics in economic development, including the design, protection and assessment of incentives, economic development practices in the US, the process of negotiation, building public consensus, strategic planning, commercialization and innovation, and others. Originally from Barrington, Rhode Island and raised primarily in Fayetteville, North Carolina, Sternlicht earned his bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, and studied journalism and communications at the Université de Fribourg in Switzerland on a Rotary International Graduate Fellowship before earning his Juris Doctor at the University of North Carolina School of Law in Chapel Hill. He earned his certification in economic development from the International Economic Development Council in 2001.
John married James Finley in 2010, and together they have three adult sons and two daughters-in-law who make them very proud. John and James live in Anacortes, Washington.