New Bedford, MA
John R. Zakian, CEcD, has more than 30 years experience in public service senior management positions with city and county governments, non profit corporations and economic development organizations in diverse regions of the eastern United States.
His expertise covers principles & practices of general city and county management; creating and managing 501(C)3 non profit corporations; all aspects of economic, community, and housing development, and redevelopment; grant management, & long term post disaster recovery plan development and implementation.
Specialized areas of knowledge include strategic planning, redevelopment planning, privatization, public/private partnerships, alternative revenue development, taxable and tax exempt financing instruments, grant procurement, and federal programs, rules, and regulations governing post disaster recovery including FEMA and HUD CDBG-DR.
He has a MPA ‘with distinction” from Pace University, has successfully completed three senior executive programs at Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government including the Strategic Public Sector Negotiation, and Senior State and Local Executive Programs, and has earned the Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) credential from IEDC.
He currently serves as the city of Minot’s first Program Manager for its federal disaster recovery grants including the HUD National Disaster Resilience Competition Grant. Prior to this role, he served for more than four years starting in December, 2013as a subject matter expert consultant for the city of New York in support of its $4.2 billion in HUD CDBG-DR grant funds.
In 2011, Zakian served as a member of FEMA’s ESF #14 Long Term Community Recovery Cadre deployed to Alabama in the wake of the devastating 2011 Tornadoes where he served as a Coordination Group Supervisor for all federal agencies involved in long term disaster recovery
2007 through 2010 he was a consultant in the role of Senior Vice President for Strategy for Greater New Orleans, Inc., the regional economic development organization serving 1.3 million residents in the ten parishes centered by the city of New Orleans hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina during which time he worked with the organization to formulate and launch a post Katrina long term economic growth plan.
Zakian has been part of special IEDC teams sent to the West Coast to apply recovery lessons learned in the Gulf Coast to the San Diego wildfire recovery efforts, to Cedar Rapids to provide similar guidance in the wake of the devastating river flooding, to Galveston in the aftermath of hurricane Ike and to the Florida Panhandle in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon tragedy.
His past roles have included being chief operating officer for Westchester County Government in the New York metro region, founding chief executive for a non profit economic development corporation serving New Bedford, MA., Assistant City Administrator and Community Redevelopment Agency Executive Director for West Palm Beach, FL. and the first full time chief executive for the Yonkers, NY Industrial Development Agency.